Nelson Cruz expected to be in Orioles’ lineup Tuesday

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The Orioles were given quite the scare yesterday when slugger Nelson Cruz was hit on the left hand with a pitch, but the early word is that he’s on track to be in the starting lineup tomorrow against the Rangers.

Fortunately no fracture was found in Cruz’s hand and he’s only dealing with a contusion. The swelling is down and he’s able to grip a bat, so Roch Kubatko of MASNSports.com writes that the Orioles are “encouraged” that he’ll be able to play tomorrow. It’s no sure thing, as the final test will be batting practice tomorrow, but the good news is that it’s a day-to-day situation.

Signed to a one-year, $8 million deal over the winter, Cruz has been a tremendous bargain for the Orioles and one of the most productive hitters in the game. The 33-year-old is batting .314/.384/.672 in 54 games and leads the majors with 20 home runs and 52 RBI. He was named the AL Player of the Week earlier today.

Tigers sign Edwin Jackson to a minor league deal

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The good news: most-traveled-player ever Edwin Jackson has a job again. The bad news: it’s not with team number 15. He’s repeating himself, going back to the Tigers, for whom he pitched in 2009. Oh well.

Jackson, 35, posted a ghastly 11.12 ERA in 28 and a third innings over eight appearances with the Blue Jays this season, five of which came as starts. If he can manage to be merely bad instead of terrible he’s likely to get several starts for Detroit in the second half as the Tigers are playing for nothing and teams playing for nothing are well-served by veteran arms.

And heck, if he starts one in the next week or so and is amazing, maybe — just maybe — Detroit can flip him to team number 15? We can dream, can’t we?