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Braves plan to use six-man rotation when Bartolo Colon returns

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David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the Braves will expand the starting rotation to six members when Bartolo Colon returns from the disabled list by Wednesday. Colon will rejoin the rotation without going on a minor league rehab assignment.

Colon, 44, went on the disabled list on June 6 with a strained left oblique. He struggled through 12 starts, compiling a 7.78 ERA with a 40/17 K/BB ratio in 59 innings.

The Braves want to see more out of pitching prospect Sean Newcomb, who has turned in two solid starts against the Mets and Marlins to start his big league career. He’s given up three earned runs on nine hits and six walks with 10 strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings.

O’Brien notes that the six-man rotation may only be temporary as the Braves may explore trading Jaime Garcia between now and the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline.

Rangers will not exercise Mike Napoli’s 2018 option

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The Rangers have informed 1B/DH Mike Napoli the club will not exercise his 2018 option, worth $11 million, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports. Instead, the Rangers will pay Napoli $2.5 million to buy him out of his contract, making him a free agent.

Napoli, 35, hit a disappointing .193/.285/.428 with 29 home runs and 66 RBI in 485 plate appearances this past season. Given his age and declining production, it’s not shocking that the Rangers want to look elsewhere.

Napoli turns 36 at the end of the month. Given his age and worsening peripheral stats, he will likely have to settle for a one-year deal this offseason.