Choo could be back with the Indians by next weekend

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Indians outfielder Shin-Soo Choo was diagnosed with a sprained right thumb in early July and had to be placed on the disabled list. 

Early projections, by the the Cleveland Plain Dealer at least, suggested that he could miss a total of two months.  Thankfully they were way off.

Choo took 50 swings of batting practice on Sunday, according to Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com, and he is expected to begin a rehab assignment with Double-A Akron on Monday.  If all goes well, he should move on to Triple-A Columbus by the middle of next week and could be with the Tribe by next weekend.

Choo, 28, was batting .286/.390/.475 with 13 home runs, 12 stolen bases and 43 RBI in 301 at-bats when he was placed on the disabled list on July 4.  Though the Indians are already out of the running in the American League Central, Choo’s spark near the heart of the lineup should help the club maintain a level of respectability through the second half.

The Reds have “jumped into” the J.T. Realmuto sweepstakes

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The Cincinnati Reds have popped up in rumors for a lot of players that one would not normally expect. Free agents like Dallas Keuchel and, earlier, Patrick Corbin. Trade bait like Yasiel Puig. I’m not sure how serious any of that pursuit has been. Maybe it’s just P.R.-driven noise aimed at making Reds fans think the team is going for it or whatever, but it’s been kind of fun. The Reds have, basically, been that guy who shows up in everyone’s photos from the party even though no one knows who he came with or why he was there.

The latest hot stove photobomb for the Reds is Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto. Craig Mish of SiriusXM reports that they have “jumped into” his trade market.

There seems to be some room to jump, as the talks with the Mets are perceived to have cooled off in the past 24 hours. It’s also the case that the Reds are far more likely to be able to improve via a trade than via the free agent market, as the Reds aren’t as attractive a landing spot as a lot as some other places. Still, given that the Marlins are the trading partner, it will almost certainly cost a lot in prospects or young big league talent to get Realmuto and that’s the sort of talent the Reds should not be in the business of giving up, so it’s hard to see a match.

But hey, the party is fun. Why not hang out for a while?