Omar Infante had a “real bad” setback with his ankle injury

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Omar Infante looked just about ready to come off the disabled list, but the Tigers second baseman suffered a setback with his injured ankle while rehabbing in the minors.

Tony Paul of the Detroit News reports that he left last night’s Single-A game early because of “continued soreness” in his ankle, with Infante saying afterward: “I’m feeling a lot of pain in my ankle right now. Real bad. Now when I’m walking, I feel pain.”

Infante has been out since taking the brunt of Colby Rasmus’ takeout slide on July 3, but indicated after the setback that he might have tried to come back too soon. Whatever the case, it’ll likely be a while before he’s ready to rejoin Detroit’s lineup.

Rakuten Golden Eagles sign Jabari Blash

Jabari Blash
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Former Angels outfielder Jabari Blash has signed a one-year deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball, the team announced Friday. Per the Japan Times, the deal is said to be worth around $1.06 million. Blash was released from his contract with the Angels at the end of November.

The 29-year-old outfielder has had a rough go of it in the majors, where he failed to duplicate the promising results he delivered in the minors. While he consistently batted above .250 with 20-30 home runs per season at the Double- and Triple-A level, he petered out in back-to-back gigs with the Padres and Angels and slumped toward a .103/.200/.128 finish across 45 PA for Anaheim in 2018.

The hope, of course, is that the environment in NPB will help him get a better handle on his issues at the plate — in a best case scenario, resulting in a full-scale transformation that could make him more marketable to MLB teams in the future. To that end, Blash expects to be utilized as a cleanup batter in the Eagles’ lineup and will focus on assisting the club as they make a run toward the Japan Series.