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MLB notebook: Red Sox CF Ellsbury confident in return for playoffs

| Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013, 8:51 p.m.

• Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury is confident he will return in time for the playoffs, boston.com reported. Ellsbury, who has been out since Sept. 5 with a fractured foot, was walking without a boot. “ Everybody's excited,” he said. “The docs are just happy with my progress.” Manager John Farrell also is optimistic, saying “we're all envisioning him being back on the field before the regular season has concluded.” Ellsbury, 30, is hitting .299 with eight homers, 52 RBI, 89 runs and an MLB-best 52 stolen bases this season.

• Braves outfielder Jason Heyward took live batting practice at Nationals Park, MLB.com reported. Heyward consistently made solid contact in his first action against live pitching since his jaw was fractured by a fastball from Mets left-handed pitcher Jon Niese on Aug. 21. “It went well, and that is not an easy thing to do,” Braves hitting coach Greg Walker said in the report. “Now it is all about him getting his timing.” Heyward, who is hitting .253 with 13 home runs and 37 RBI, might be back in the lineup Monday against the Brewers.

• Astros All-Star catcher Jason Castro was placed on the 15-day disabled list with discomfort in his right knee, ending his season. Castro had a cyst in his right knee drained Sept. 3 and appeared in two games at designated hitter since then.

• Cuban infielder Alexander Guerrero is a free agent again after nearing a five-year, $32-million deal with the Dodgers, CBSSports.com reported. The Red Sox, Reds, Rangers and Giants also are among the teams that may have some interest in the 26-year-old, according to the report.

— Wire reports

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