Aaron Gleeman

Josh Hamilton

Josh Hamilton doubles at Double-A, nears return to Rangers


Josh Hamilton began a minor-league rehab assignment Wednesday at Double-A, going 1-for-3 with a double as he comes back from a strained left hamstring.

He’s expected to move to Triple-A for a game Thursday and is aiming to come off the disabled list early next week after being out for three-plus weeks so far.

Hamilton missed the first six weeks of the season recovering from shoulder surgery and substance abuse relapses, being traded (or having his contract dumped) from the Angels to the Rangers. He looked good early on for Texas, hitting .273 with two homers, two doubles, four walks, and a 1.021 OPS in seven games before getting hurt again.

Red Sox clear Shane Victorino for rehab assignment

Shane Victorino Getty

After a month on the disabled list with a calf injury Red Sox outfielder Shane Victorino has been cleared to begin a minor-league rehab assignment.

Tim Britton of the Providence Journal reports that Victorino will be in the lineup tonight at Triple-A, playing right field. Barring any setbacks a return to Boston early next week seems doable.

In between DL stints Victorino played 20 games this season, hitting .255 with one homer and a .724 OPS. Boston recently demoted $72.5 million prospect Rusney Castillo back to Triple-A, seemingly clearing the way for a Victorino/Alejandro De Aza playing time split in right field.

Astros promote former No. 1 pick Mark Appel to Triple-A

Mark Appel

Things haven’t gone according to plan for Mark Appel since the Astros made him the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 draft. Coming out of Stanford he was supposed to have top-of-the-rotation potential and be close to MLB-ready, but instead his prospect stock has dipped dramatically and they’re just now promoting him to Triple-A.

Appel started 20 total games at Double-A between this season and last season, posting a 4.05 ERA and 87/36 K/BB ratio in 102 innings. And he was even worse at Single-A.

At age 23 there’s still plenty of time for Appel to get on track and fulfill his potential, but the Astros were probably hoping he’d be in the majors by now and whenever he does arrive it’ll likely come with middle-of-the-rotation expectations at this point.