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    Boyer: Hot Hitters

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    Boyer: Hot Hitters

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Nationals signed RHP Kevin Jepsen to a minor league contract.

Jepsen threw for teams earlier this month in Arizona and apparently the Nats liked what they saw. The 32-year-old right-hander was released by the Diamondbacks at the end of spring training after posting a 12.27 ERA in the Cactus League while fighting a quad injury. He put up a 5.98 ERA and 1.67 WHIP in 49 2/3 innings last season between the Twins and Rays. Jepsen will be stationed at Triple-A Syracuse with a July 26 opt-out clause in his non-guaranteed minor league deal.
Jun 29 - 12:01 PM

Charlie Morton (lat) threw a bullpen session in front of Astros coaches on Thursday morning.

And he said after the workout that he plans to make a start Sunday -- either in Houston against the Yankees or at one of the Astros' minor league affiliates. Morton worked four scoreless innings in his second rehab start Tuesday with Triple-A Fresno, but he only threw 47 pitches in that outing. The right-hander has been on the disabled list since May 25 because of a lat strain.
Jun 29 - 11:57 AM

Marlins manager Don Mattingly said Wei-Yin Chen (elbow) is not close to throwing off a mound.

Chen has been on the disabled list since May 5 with a lingering right elbow injury and there is no timetable for when he might return. The left-hander was given a platelet-rich plasma injection five weeks ago, but it obviously didn't do much good. "It’s a long process," Mattingly told reporters.
Jun 29 - 11:50 AM

Dallas Keuchel (neck) said Thursday that he is aiming to resume throwing off a mound this weekend.

Keuchel is making slow but somewhat-steady progress from a neck injury that has bothered him since May. Astros manager A.J. Hinch acknowledged earlier this week that the ace left-hander probably won't return to the major league rotation until after the All-Star break. Given how long this issue has lingered, Keuchel figures to need a minor league rehab assignment.
Jun 29 - 11:44 AM

Yonder Alonso (knee) is not in the Athletics' starting lineup Thursday in Houston.

Alonso was removed from Wednesday night's loss to the Astros after fouling a ball off his right knee in the top of the eighth inning, but he only suffered a contusion and should be ready to rock following one day of rest. Matt Olson is starting at first base and batting sixth for the A's on Thursday afternoon against Astros right-hander Brad Peacock.
Jun 29 - 11:05 AM

Alex Presley (concussion) needs at least a few extra days of rest and recovery.

Presley is eligible to be activated from the 7-day concussion disabled list on Friday, but he's not quite symptom-free yet and the Tigers aren't going to rush him back. The 31-year-old outfielder has batted .245/.302/.347 with one homer and two steals in 18 games this season for Detroit.
Jun 29 - 10:51 AM

Whit Merrifield is out of the Royals' starting lineup Thursday afternoon against the Tigers.

Ramon Torres will start at second base and bat leadoff versus Detroit right-hander Michael Fulmer. It looks to be a routine day of rest for Merrifield, who's slashing .279/.320/.437 with six home runs and eight stolen bases in 59 games this season for Kansas City.
Jun 29 - 10:21 AM

Colby Rasmus (hip) is not ready to come off the 10-day disabled list.

Rasmus has been out for exactly 10 days (as of Thursday) and he had been aiming to return when first eligible, but his surgically-repaired hip is still giving him trouble. There's no timetable at this point for him to even begin a minor league rehab assignment. It's going to be a while.
Jun 29 - 9:49 AM
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