Shane Victorino to resume minor league rehab assignment Wednesday

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Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino was shut down from a minor league rehab assignment two weeks ago due an issue with his lower back, but he’s on the verge of returning to game action.

Victorino has made progress in recent days following an epidural and Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe passes along word that he’s scheduled to resume a minor league assignment Wednesday with Class A Lowell. There’s a chance he could rejoin the Red Sox after the All-Star break if all goes well.

Victorino was originally placed on the disabled list on May 24 after he aggravated a right hamstring strain that gave him a late start on the season. The 33-year-old is batting just .242/.276/.352 with one home run, 10 RBI, and two stolen bases over 21 games this year.

Marco Estrada signs a one-year, $13 million deal for 2018

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Marco Estrada and the Blue Jays have agreed to a one-year, $13 million extension with the Blue Jays, reports Jon Morosi of MLB.com. Last night Morosi reported that the sides were near a deal.

This extension is, functionally, like adding a year on to his old deal, which paid him $26 million for the 2016-17 seasons. As Bill noted last night. while the 34-year-old right-hander has a subpar 4.84 ERA on the season, he has a solid 170/67 K/BB ratio in 176.2 innings this year and has improved in the second half.

The Red Sox will air anti-racism PSA before games beginning next week

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Adrian Walker of the Boston Globe reports that the Boston Red Sox will air an anti-racism public service announcement at Fenway Park before their game on September 28. This is part of a large campaign backed by the Sox, the Boston Bruins, Boston Celtics, New England Patriots and New England Revolution “featuring athletes calling on fans to take a stand against racism and hate speech at sports venues.”

This comes in the wake of a group of protesters hanging an anti-racism banner in Fenway Park last week which, in turn came a few months after Adam Jones, like many visiting players of color before him, claimed that racial epithets were hurled at him by fans in the Fenway bleachers.

Red Sox CEO Sam Kennedy tells the globe that the Jones incident is what inspired the PSA campaign:

“When the incidents in May occurred, one of the first things we recognized was sports teams are high-profile, and we have the opportunity to help lead a high-level discussion around this,” he said. “We wanted to take the lead in taking a stand against racism.”