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Blue Jays clear Edwin Encarnacion to begin minor league rehab assignment

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According to Chris Toman of MLB.com, the Blue Jays have cleared slugger Edwin Encarnacion to begin a minor league rehab assignment tonight with High-A Dunedin.

Encarnacion has been sidelined since July 5 with a right quad strain. His timeline got pushed back a bit following a minor setback late last month, but he now appears on track to rejoin the Blue Jays at some point next week.

Encarnacion, 31, was batting .277/.368/.591 with 26 home runs and 70 RBI over 88 games prior to the injury. The Blue Jays are 14-15 during his absence and have dropped six out of seven. They enter play this afternoon at 61-56 on the year, six games behind the Orioles in the AL East and 1 1/2 games back in the Wild Card race.

CC Sabathia checking into alcohol rehab

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This is totally unexpected and definitely unfortunate: The New York Yankees just released a statement from CC Sabathia saying that he is checking himself into alcohol rehabilitation center.

There will no doubt be additional details and reporting going forward, but this is all we have at the moment.

Sabathia has battled injuries and ineffectiveness for the past three seasons but has, in his last few starts, shown himself to be effective, even if he’s not to the level he once was. And, should the Yankees advance past the Wild Card game, one would have assumed that the Yankees would’ve been counting on him for the playoff rotation.

Now, however, that seems both doubtful and completely superfluous. Here’s hoping Sabathia deals with whatever problems he’s facing and comes out healthy on the other end.

Diamondbacks fire pitching coach Mike Harkey

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Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that the Diamondbacks have fired pitching coach Mike Harkey following a season in which the staff ranked ninth among NL teams in runs allowed.

That actually represents a big improvement from last season, when the Diamondbacks allowed the second-most runs in the league in Harkey’s first year as pitching coach, but the Tony La Russa-led front office has decided to make a change.

Prior to joining the Diamondbacks two offseasons ago Harkey served as the Yankees’ bullpen coach from 2008-2013. He pitched eight seasons in the majors.