Craig Kimbrel (knee) is on track to rejoin the Red Sox on Monday.
Kimbrel will throw one inning in a minor league rehab game Saturday and should be cleared for activation if all goes well in that outing. He has been on the shelf since undergoing a left knee arthroscopy and a partial medial meniscectomy just before the All-Star break. Brad Ziegler is filling in at closer for Boston.
Rays 3B prospect Kevin Padlo clobbered his 14th homer Wednesday in a win for Low-A Bowling Green.
He scored twice as the Hot Rods earned a 4-1 win over Lansing. Padlo leads the Midwest League in walks (58) this year and is also second in home runs and ninth in RBI (54). He's swiped 12 bases as well while being caught six times. The 20-year-old offers some intriguing power but Padlo is unlikely to receive a promotion until his contact rate improves (.216 AVG in 296 at-bats).
Ryan Braun was scratched from the Brewers' lineup on Thursday due to right side tightness.
He is considered day-to-day for now. Ramon Flores will switch from right field to left field and Kirk Nieuwenhuis will draw the start in right versus Arizona.
Tigers OF prospect Christin Stewart whacked a two-run homer Wednesday in a loss for High-A Lakewood.
It was his only hit of the night. Stewart has absolutely pounded the ball this year. He leads the Florida State League in home runs (22), RBI (62), on base percentage (.412), slugging percentage (.536) and OPS (.947) and is also third in runs scored with 57. His contact rate is somewhat concerning (100 Ks in 323 at-bats) but the Tigers can live with a high strikeout total if Stewart keeps bashing home runs.
Athletics RHP prospect Brett Graves took a perfect game into the seventh inning Wednesday in a win for High-A Stockton.
He retired the first 18 batters he faced before surrendering a leadoff single to High Desert center fielder Scott Heineman in the seventh inning. Graves allowed just the one hit over eight shutout frames while recording a single strikeout. He didn't walk anyone. The 23-year-old hasn't been anything special this year (5-8, 5.11 ERA in 21 outings) but maybe Wednesday's impressive outing we'll give him the fuel he needs to turn things around.
Astros RHP prospect Francis Martes allowed just one hit and two walks over seven scoreless innings Wednesday in a win for Double-A Corpus Christi.
Martes retired 17 of the last 18 hitters he faced while matching a season-high with nine strikeouts. The victory snapped a four-game winless streak for the right-hander. Martes has now fanned 89 hitters this year, which ranks eighth in the Texas League. The 20-year-old holds a respectable 3.76 ERA over 19 appearances (16 starts) this season.
Cardinals RHP prospect Jake Woodford scattered five hits and two runs over seven innings Wednesday in a no-decision for Low-A Peoria.
He delivered a season-high nine strikeouts and didn't walk anyone. The seven-inning effort was his longest since May 24 when he logged eight scoreless frames in a win over Kane County. The 19-year-old has been one of the better hurlers in the Midwest League this season with 66 strikeouts and a 2.81 ERA. Despite his success, Woodford hasn't won a start since June 5 while being plagued by poor run support.
Brewers manager Craig Counsell said Jonathan Lucroy is getting a scheduled day of rest Thursday.
The trade buzz began swirling when Milwaukee's lineup card for Thursday afternoon's game against the Diamondbacks showed Martin Maldonado at catcher instead of Lucroy, but there's nothing to see here. Yet. Lucroy is reportedly drawing interest from the Rangers, Indians, Astros, Mets, and Red Sox, and will almost certainly be dealt before the August 1 deadline.