The Phillies send Freddy Galvis down to the minors

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While transactions involving utlilitymen aren’t the biggest deal, Freddy Galvis is a more famous than usual utilityman. And, given the age of the Phillies, he’s more important for spelling/pinch running purposes than a lot of other teams’ bench dudes might be. But he has started the season as a walking, talking tire fire, so the Phillies optioned utilityman Freddy Galvis to Triple-A Lehigh Valley after last night’s game.

Galvis just two hits over his first 42 at-bats this season and that just does’t play, even on the bench. The Phillies have not announced a corresponding move yet, but Reid Brignac has been raking down at Lehigh Valley, so my guess is that he gets the call.

Nationals to reinstate Max Scherzer on Thursday

Max Scherzer
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Some good news for the Nationals today: All-Star hurler Max Scherzer is due back from the injured list this week, this time (hopefully) for good. He’s slated to start during Thursday’s series finale against the Pirates.

It’s been a long road back for the right-hander, who earned his seventh consecutive All-Star designation after heading into the break with a 2.30 ERA, 5.6 fWAR, and a league-leading 7.56 SO/BB rate. An untimely back injury forced him to the injured list in the days leading up to the All-Star Game, however, and he hasn’t returned in any kind of part-time or full-time capacity since.

While Scherzer was originally expected to pitch for the Nationals sometime during their weekend series versus the Brewers, manager Dave Martinez elected to push back his return date by a few days. It’s not clear whether he felt some lingering pain during his 64-pitch simulated start on Saturday or whether the Nationals simply want to play it safe with their ace, but either way, the club apparently feels like Scherzer will be back to full strength before the end of the week.

If so, his return would be a significant asset to the Nationals, who could use a sub-3.00 ERA, 5.0-fWAR starter to help bolster their standing in the NL East. Still, there’s no guarantee that the veteran righty is ready to shoulder a full-time role in Washington’s rotation, nor is it certain that he’ll be able to match his results from the first half of the season. In one start between IL stints last month, he dealt five innings of three-run, two-walk, eight-strikeout ball in an 8-7 loss to the Rockies.