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.

Donald Trump wants Curt Schilling in the Hall of Fame

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We’ve talked a lot about Curt Schilling’s Hall of Fame candidacy over the years.

Bill has argued that, if voters are going to use the character clause to keep certain players out, they should keep Curt Schilling out. I’ve differed on that, not because I think Schilling is a good person — he’s loathsome, actually — but because I find the character clause to be illegitimate and would never, if I had a vote, use it to impact my vote. So, yes, I’d put Schilling on my ballot if I had one.

I’m not alone in this, of course. At the moment Schilling has support on about 72% of ballots which have been made public. My guess is that he’ll fall a tad short when results are announced tomorrow — non-public ballots tend to include fewer players on them — but we’ll see.

I am not the only non-BBWAA member who would vote for Schilling. He’s got some top level support too. From the President of the United States:

Ballots had to be submitted by December 31, so it’s not like this is gonna have any impact on the vote totals. If it came earlier, though, one wonders if it would. And one wonders if that’d help Schilling or hurt him.