Royals activate Lorenzo Cain from the disabled list

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As first relayed by Kansas City Star beat writer Bob Dutton, the Royals have officially activated outfielder Lorenzo Cain from the 15-day disabled list in time for Wednesday night’s game against the Mariners.

Cain has been out for a month with a strained left oblique muscle and still hasn’t been cleared to hit, but he can play defense and serve as a pinch-runner so the Royals decided to get him back on the active roster anyway. Cain should be able to return to the Royals’ starting lineup at some point next week.

The 27-year-old center fielder is hitting .261/.324/.362 with four home runs, 43 RBI and 12 stolen bases in 96 games this season for third-place Kansas City. Jarrod Dyson has been getting the majority of the playing time in center in Cain’s absence.

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.