Blue Jays clear Edwin Encarnacion to begin minor league rehab assignment

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According to Chris Toman of MLB.com, the Blue Jays have cleared slugger Edwin Encarnacion to begin a minor league rehab assignment tonight with High-A Dunedin.

Encarnacion has been sidelined since July 5 with a right quad strain. His timeline got pushed back a bit following a minor setback late last month, but he now appears on track to rejoin the Blue Jays at some point next week.

Encarnacion, 31, was batting .277/.368/.591 with 26 home runs and 70 RBI over 88 games prior to the injury. The Blue Jays are 14-15 during his absence and have dropped six out of seven. They enter play this afternoon at 61-56 on the year, six games behind the Orioles in the AL East and 1 1/2 games back in the Wild Card race.

Joe Kelly’s suspension reduced to 5 games on appeal

Joe Kelly suspended eight
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LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly had his suspension for throwing pitches near the heads of Houston hitters reduced to five games on appeal.

Kelly was originally penalized eight games by Major League Baseball on July 29, a day after throwing a 96 mph fastball near the head of Houston’s Alex Bregman and two curveballs that brushed back Carlos Correa.

The Dodgers on Wednesday confirmed the reduced penalty.

Kelly went on the 10-day injured list retroactive to last Sunday with right shoulder inflammation. He will serve his suspension when he returns.

After striking out Corea, Kelly curled his lip into a pouting expression and exchanged words with the shortstop.

Benches cleared after Kelly’s actions during the sixth inning of Los Angeles’ 5-2 win at Houston in the teams’ first meeting since it was revealed the Astros stole signs en route to a 2017 World Series title over the Dodgers.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts served his one-game suspension the same day the penalty was handed down. Astros manager Dusty Baker was fined an undisclosed amount.

Kelly denied that he purposely threw at the Astros. He has previously been suspended in his career for throwing at a batter.

The penalties were imposed by former pitcher Chris Young, MLB’s senior vice president of baseball operations, who issued his first ruling since taking over the job from Joe Torre.