Phillies' Oswalt nearing return

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:01 PM ET

Philadelphia Phillies right-hander Roy Oswalt could come off the disabled list early next week.

Oswalt, out since June 24 with lower back inflammation and two bulging discs, will make his second rehab start at triple-A Lehigh Valley Monday and could rejoin the Phillies soon afterwards. He's expected to throw 90-95 pitches in Monday's start.

"Should be good," Oswalt said on MLB.com after throwing a bullpen session Friday.

In 13 starts this season, Oswalt is 4-6 with a 3.79 earned-run average.

Phillies infielder Placido Polanco, out since July 4 with a back problem, could return this weekend after making his second rehab appearance Friday night.

MARINERS CUT CUST

The Seattle Mariners designated Jack Cust for assignment Friday after activating Canadian lefty pitcher Erik Bedard from the disabled list.

Cust, a 10-year-veteran, hit just .213 with three homers and 23 RBI in 67 games with the Mariners.

Bedard was 4-6 with a 3.00 ERA before going on the DL with a sprained left knee June 29.

STRAS LOOKS GOOD

Injured Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg threw well in a simulated game, according to a report in the Washington Post.

Strasburg, out nearly a year after having Tommy John surgery last Sept, 3, threw 50 pitches and earned a positive review from Nationals pitching coach Spin Williams.

"I think he's getting very close," Williams told the Post.

Despite appearing to be ahead of schedule, Strasburg still needs to take a few steps before returning to the Washington rotation, including a rehab assignment in the minors.

LINE DRIVES

The St. Louis Cardinals put infielder Nick Punto on the 15-day DL Friday and called up infielder Tyler Greene from triple-A Memphis. It's the third time Punto has been put on the DL with a strained left oblique this season ... Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Carlos Monasterios will miss the next year after having Tommy John surgery. The 25-year-old right-hander was 3-5 with a 4.38 ERA ... The Atlanta Braves, already hit hard by injuries, put outfielder Nate McLouth on the 15-day DL with a lower abdominal strain. To fill McLouth's roster spot, the Braves called up outfielder Jose Constanza from triple-A Gwinnett ... Minnesota Twins centre fielder Denard Span could be back this weekend. He's been out for two months with a concussion ... The Seattle Mariners traded outfielder Ryan Langerhans to the Arizona Diamondbacks for cash. Langerhands was hitting .173 with three homers and six RBI in 52 at-bats ... Pitcher Rafael Soriano, out since mid-May with an elbow injury, was activated off the DL by the New York Yankees. Soriano has a 5.40 ERA in 16 relief appearances.


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