Brian McCann hoping to come off DL when eligible Friday

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Oblique strains tend to sideline players for longer than the minimum 15-day stay on the disabled list, but Brian McCann is pleased enough with how his recovery has gone to think returning when eligible Friday is possible.

McCann took batting practice yesterday for the first time since suffering the injury on July 26 and told David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution that “it felt fine … it felt exactly how I thought it would.”

He didn’t go all-out with his swings and still needs to avoid setbacks while participating in catching drills, but McCann talked of beginning a brief minor-league rehab assignment as soon as Wednesday.

Backup catcher David Ross has struggled filling in for McCann, who hit .306 with 18 homers and an .889 OPS in 91 games before the injury to solidify his status as one of the game’s best, most underrated players.

Dodgers sign OF Jason Heyward to minor league deal

Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
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LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Dodgers signed outfielder Jason Heyward to a minor league deal and invited him to spring training.

The 33-year-old was released by the Chicago Cubs earlier this offseason.

Heyward, who was injured at times last season, put up the worst offensive numbers of his career, batting .204 and with 10 RBIs and one home run in 137 plate appearances. However, he’s a valuable defender in the outfield.

The deal reunites Heyward with first baseman Freddie Freeman. They came up through the Atlanta Braves system and have remained friends ever since.

Heyward was a leader in the Cubs’ clubhouse, helping them win the 2016 World Series.