Jose Contreras ready to rejoin Phillies as a setup man

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Jose Contreras made his final minor-league rehab appearance this morning at Triple-A, throwing two scoreless innings, and Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that he’ll likely be activated from the disabled list tomorrow.

Contreras was filling in for Brad Lidge as the Phillies’ closer when an elbow injury shut him down in mid-April, but three weeks later he’ll return as a setup man thanks to Ryan Madson thriving in the ninth inning while he was out.

Madson is 9-for-9 converting saves with a 0.47 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 19 innings, finally showing that he’s capable of dominating in the ninth inning just like he has for years in the seventh and eighth innings.

Contreras seems likely to assume Madson’s old setup role, although if Madson has a rough patch manager Charlie Manuel probably won’t be hesitant to hand closing duties back to Contreras after initially picking him to do the job over Madson in the first place.

Howie Kendrick to undergo an MRI after exiting game with a serious leg injury

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Update, 7:49 PM ET: The Nationals placed Howie Kendrick on the 10-day disabled list with a right Achilles injury. In a corresponding move, right-hander Jefry Rodriguez was recalled from Double-A Potomac.

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Nationals left fielder Howie Kendrick was removed from the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Dodgers after injuring his right leg. In the eighth inning, Kendrick tracked a Max Muncy sac fly to the wall, but landed strangely on his right leg and fell to the ground. Unable to put weight on it, he was forced to exit the field on a cart and was sent to undergo an MRI soon afterward, the results of which have yet to be revealed.

While the Nationals have not specified the nature or severity of Kendrick’s injury, Martinez revealed that it’s located in the “lower part” of the outfielder’s leg and appears to be quite severe. He’ll likely be placed on the 10-day disabled list in the next couple of days, though the recovery process could take even longer.

Prior to the incident, Kendrick was off to a hot start this season. Entering Saturday’s doubleheader, he carried a batting line of .302/.331/.477 with 18 extra-base hits and an .808 OPS in 157 plate appearances. He went 1-for-3 on Saturday with a base hit in the seventh inning. Andrew Stevenson subbed in for Kendrick following the injury and has been tabbed to start in left field for the second game of the doubleheader at 8:05 PM ET.