Brandon Phillips (forearm) expected to return Friday

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Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips hasn’t appeared in a game since getting hit on the left forearm by a pitch on Saturday evening.

But his return is apparently imminent.

According to C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer, both Phillips himself and Reds manager Dusty Baker insisted earlier this evening that Phillips will be back in Cincinnati’s starting lineup on Friday night in St. Louis for the start of an important three-game series against the division-rival Cardinals.

Phillips boasts a .296/.347/.481 batting line, nine homers and 45 RBI in 54 games this season. The Reds entered play Wednesday with a 36-23 record, trailing the Cardinals by 2 1/2 games in the NL Central.

Jack Hannahan is starting at second base in Cincy’s series finale tonight against the Rockies.

Corey Kluber removed from his rehab game

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Part of the reason the Cleveland Indians could trade away a pitcher like Trevor Bauer in the middle of a playoff race is because they have reinforcements on the way. The primary reinforcement is Corey Kluber, who has been out since May 1 with a broken arm. Based on what happened yesterday it’s possible that the Tribe will have to wait a bit longer for that particular reinforcement to arrive.

Kluber was the starter in yesterday’s game between Triple-A Columbus and Charlotte. He managed only one inning, however, walking two and not allowing a run before being lifted due to abdominal tightness. It was said that he was removed for precautionary reasons, so it may not be an injury as opposed to everyone simply being spooked. He’ll be reevaluated today.

It’s unclear whether this will delay his return to the Indians, though it obviously isn’t a good development. As it stood before yesterday, Cleveland had hoped Kluber could make big league starts in September and be ready for the postseason.