Roy Oswalt cleared to begin rehab assignment Wednesday

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According to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Phillies right-hander Roy Oswalt has been given clearance to make his first minor league rehab start Wednesday for Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Oswalt has been on the disabled list since the end of June with a bulging disc in his lower back. He threw a successful bullpen session on Friday and told reporters that he felt like he could return to the major leagues after just one minor league rehab outing. Our guess is the first-place Phillies will play it safe and have him make two rehab appearances.

Oswalt, 33, had a 3.79 ERA, 1.33 WHIP and 42/18 K/BB ratio this season through 71 1/3 innings (13 starts). He’s going to play a major role for Philadelphia down the stretch and into the postseason.

Cubs to activate Craig Kimbrel on Thursday

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The Cubs will activate reliever Craig Kimbrel ahead of Thursday afternoon’s game against the Braves, Sahadev Sharma of The Athletic reports.

Kimbrel, 31, ended a seven-month stint in free agency, agreeing to a three-year, $43 million contract with the Cubs earlier this month. He has made four minor league appearances, allowing one earned run on two hits and a walk with four strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings.

With an aggregate 3.96 ERA entering Wednesday, the Cubs’ bullpen has been among the better bullpens in the league. Adding Kimbrel, one of the greatest closers of all-time, certainly can’t hurt and will give them some stability in save situations.