Wednesday's quick hits

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The Yankees are returning Chien-Ming Wang to the rotation and shifting Phil Hughes to the bullpen.

It’s the latter part of the announcement that comes as a surprise, as I
figured that Hughes would head back to Triple-A once Wang took his
spot. Hughes has never worked as a reliever at any level, and odds are
that the Yankees will need him back in the rotation at some point. I
think it’d make more sense to give George Kontos or another minor
leagues a try. Alfredo Aceves should be getting the higher-leverage
middle-relief innings anyway.

Jose Reyes experienced a setback with his calf injury and no longer appears likely to return Friday as hoped.

Reyes will be examined back in New York on Thursday. Now it
definitely appears as though this calf injury is going to linger for a
while, so even if he does return next week, he may not be much of a
threat on the basepaths for the foreseeable future.

Scott Hairston, seemingly in the midst of a breakthrough season, went on the disabled list after suffering a strained biceps muscle during Tuesday’s game.

Can’t say I didn’t see this coming. It was meant to be something of a joke, but I posted the following Monday on Rotoworld:

Scott Hairston went 2-for-4 with his eighth homer Monday in the loss to the Phillies.
Adrian
Gonzalez and Hairston went back-to-back off Joe Blanton in the sixth.
Hairston is finally fulfilling his promise with a .331 average and a
.579 slugging in 145 at-bats this season. That can only mean he’s due
to suffer a major injury any day now.

I’ve always really liked Hairston, but he is injury-prone and it
seems like he always gets hurt at the worst possible time. This comes
less than two weeks after the Padres traded Jody Gerut in part to free
up more playing time for him in the outfield.

Mike Trout has a torn thumb ligament, could require surgery

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Yesterday Mike Trout left the Marlins-Angels game after hurting his thumb while sliding head first into second base. After the game the Angels talked about it as if it were just a sprain. Trout had an MRI today, however, and the diagnosis is far worse: he has a torn thumb ligament.

While a treatment option has not yet been chosen, surgery is a possibility. A certainty is that he’ll miss, at the very least, several weeks of play. He has been placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career.

Trout, the reigning AL MVP and, without question, the best player in baseball, is batting .337/.461/.742 with 16 home runs, 36 RBI, 36 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases in 206 plate appearances this season. Even with the one of the weaker supporting casts in baseball, Trout had the Angels near .500 and in at least arguable contention in the AL West.

Without him, they are likely sunk. Without him, baseball is worse off.

Basebrawl! Harper, Strickland punch away, Nats-Giants fight

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SAN FRANCISCO — Nationals slugger Bryce Harper and San Francisco reliever Hunter Strickland both landed punches to the head during a wild brawl that erupted Monday after a hit by pitch.

Harper was hit in the right hip by Strickland’s 98 mph fastball in the eighth inning with Washington ahead 2-0.

Harper pointed the bat toward Strickland, charged the mound and fired his batting helmet wide of the pitcher. They started to swing away and they each connected as the benches and bullpens emptied.

At least two Giants players forcefully dragged Strickland from the middle of the brawl all the way into the dugout. Harper and Strickland were both ejected.

In the 2014 NL Division Series, Harper hit two home runs off Strickland. After the star’s second shot, in Game 4, he stared at Strickland as he rounded the bases.