Michael Wacha to make first rehab start Sunday with the Double-A Springfield Cardinals

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From Brian Stull of STL Baseball Weekly comes word that Michael Wacha has been cleared to begin a minor league rehab assignment Sunday with the Double-A Springfield Cardinals. Wacha threw a simulated game at Springfield on Wednesday afternoon and reported no issues with his shoulder.

The 23-year-old right-hander will likely pitch three innings (or 40 pitches) in his rehab debut. If all goes smoothly from there, he could become an option for the Cardinals’ starting rotation by mid-September.

Wacha has been on the disabled list since late June with a stress reaction in his throwing shoulder.

He owns an outstanding 2.79 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, and 148/45 K/BB ratio in 155 career major league innings.

The Cardinals just lost two of three to the Pirates but remain locked into the top NL Wild Card spot.

Phillies sign Trevor Plouffe to minor league deal

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Infielder Trevor Plouffe has signed a minor league deal with the Phillies, Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News reports. Plouffe asked for and was granted his release from the Rangers earlier this month.

Plouffe, 31, had a double and a home run in 17 plate appearances with Triple-A Round Rock to start the 2018 season. He spent last year with the Athletics and Rays, putting up a meager .198/.272/.318 batting line in 100 games.

Plouffe has mostly played third base throughout his career, but can also handle the other three infield spots and both outfield corners, so he’ll serve as organizational depth at Triple-A Lehigh Valley for the Phillies.