Shane Victorino will be a playoff analyst for TBS this week

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Next month Shane Victorino will hit the open market as a free agent, but in the meantime he’s serving as a television analyst for the playoffs.

Tonight, tomorrow, and Wednesday he’ll join Matt Winer, Dennis Eckersley, and David Wells on the TBS studio team. Mark Newman of MLB.com reports that Matt Kemp was initially supposed to take the gig, but he canceled following shoulder surgery and his Dodgers outfield-mate stepped in.

This is the first year since 2006 that Victorino hasn’t played in the playoffs, as he made the postseason in five straight years for the Phillies and played a total of 46 playoff games.

Masahiro Tanaka to throw off a mound this weekend

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Earlier this month Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka strained both of his hamstrings while running the bases in an interleague game against the Mets and was sent to the 10-day DL. Today it was announced that the beginning of the end of most DL stints for pitchers — throwing off of a mound — is in Tanaka’s immediate future.

Tanaka is scheduled to throw off a mound Sunday, which will be his first real (well, fake real) pitching action since the June 9th injury. Assuming the session goes well, Tanaka is expected to return to the Yankees’ starting rotation sometime in early-to-mid July. With the All-Star break coming the week of July 16, it would not be hard to imagine the Yankees giving him a few extra days to get right.

Tanaka is 7-2 with a 4.58 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 73/19 in 72.2 innings on the season.