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Phillies call up slugger Rhys Hoskins

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CSNPhilly’s Jim Salisbury reports that slugging minor leaguer Rhys Hoskins will be called up by the Phillies today.

Hoskins, the Phillies’ fifth round pick in the 2014 draft out of Cal State Sacramento, has shown in the minors that he has nothing left to prove with his bat. He’s hitting .284/.385/.581 with 29 homers and 91 RBI this season at Lehigh Valley and last year he hit .281/.377/.566 with 38 homers and drove in 116 at Double-A. He’s 24 now, so it’s time for him to be in the majors.

The problem has been where to play him. He’s a first baseman, but Tommy Joseph is getting the reps at first for the Phillies, who may trade him in the offseason and thus want to showcase him. To that end they’ve had Hoskins working in left field. He hasn’t played there since college, but with Aaron Altherr injured and, frankly, the Phillies games not really mattering anymore, there’s no reason not to plug Hoskins in out there and let him face big league pitching.

Clayton Kershaw could return on September 1

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Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw has been out since July 24 with a lower back strain. He’s slated to throw a three-inning simulated game in Pittsburgh on Monday, per Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register. Plunkett adds that if all goes well, the earliest Kershaw could return is August 31 against the Diamondbacks, but September 1 is more likely against the Padres.

Kershaw, 29, hit the disabled list on a pace to win his fourth Cy Young Award. He’s 15-2 with a 2.04 ERA and a 168/24 K/BB ratio in 141 1/3 innings.

The Dodgers have managed just fine without Kershaw. The club is 19-4 since July 24. At 87-35, the Dodgers own baseball’s best record, well ahead of the second-best Astros at 76-48.

Ian Kinsler was fined for ripping umpires publicly. Brad Ausmus says it’s the largest fine he’s seen in 25 years.

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Last week, Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler was ejected from a game against the Rangers after giving home plate umpire Angel Hernandez a look after a pitch was thrown outside for a ball. Kinsler was apparently unhappy with calls Hernandez had made earlier. Manager Brad Ausmus, too, was ejected.

After the game, Kinsler said that Hernandez “needs to find another job.” He added, “…he needs to stop ruining baseball games.”

Kinsler was fined by Major League Baseball for his remarks, Mlive’s Evan Woodbery reports. According to Ausmus, the fine levied on Kinsler was the largest one he’s seen in nearly 25 years in baseball. Kinsler said, “I said what I felt and what I thought. If they take offense to that, then that’s their problem.” Ausmus said, “To single out one player as a union is completely uncalled for.”

As Ashley noted on Saturday, the umpires wore white wristbands to protest “escalating attacks on umpires.” The umpires agreed to drop their protest on Sunday after commissioner Rob Manfred agreed to meet with the umpire union’s governing board, Gabe Lacques of USA TODAY Sports reports.