Link-O-Rama: Sizemore hoping to return tomorrow

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* Grady Sizemore is hoping to come off the disabled list
tomorrow after choosing to skip a minor-league rehab assignment for his
injured left elbow. “My elbow feels good,” Sizemore said. “I haven’t
had any setbacks, but we’re only going to find out how it really is by
playing every day.”

* Thanks to Albert Pujols’ latest heroics, yesterday Tony La Russa became just the third manager in baseball history with 2,500 wins.

* Ryan Zimmerman went hitless
in 15 at-bats over the weekend and is now batting just .221/.329/.359
in 161 plate appearances since his 30-game hitting streak was snapped in mid-May.

* According to Torii Hunter, Matt Kemp has the potential to become a great defensive center fielder. According to Ultimate Zone Rating, Kemp is already a better defender than Hunter … and just about everyone else.

* Joe Morgan’s mind is still playing tricks on him.

Shelby Miller will undergo Tommy John surgery

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Last we heard from Shelby Miller, the Diamondbacks’ right-hander was contemplating Tommy John surgery for a partial UCL tear in his right elbow. Now, he appears to have decided to go through with the procedure.

Miller decided to skip Tommy John alternatives like plasma-rich platelet injections or stem cell treatment, which have been used to varying degrees of success by other major league pitchers with similar injuries. The surgery will set him back an estimated 12-18 months, FanRag Sports’ Tommy Stokke reports, which puts Miller’s estimated return date somewhere in 2018 if all goes well.

The 26-year-old starter was off to a rocky start this season, posting a 2-2 record and 4.09 ERA through 22 innings and striking out just 20 of 99 batters faced. This was his sophomore campaign in Arizona after muddling through the 2016 season with a 3-12 record, 6.15 ERA and 0.5 fWAR over 101 innings with the club.

Steven Souza Jr. exits game after injuring his hand on a hit by pitch

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Rays’ right fielder Steven Souza Jr. left Saturday’s game after getting hit on the left hand by a pitch from Blue Jays’ right-hander Joe Biagini in the seventh inning. The pitch appeared to hit the top of Souza Jr.’s hand, causing the outfielder to crumple at the plate and requiring assistance from assistant athletic trainer Paul Harker as he exited the field. Postgame reports from the Tampa Bay Times’ Marc Topkin revealed that Souza Jr. sustained a left hand contusion and is scheduled to undergo further evaluation on Sunday.

While the diagnosis isn’t as bad as it could be, it’s still a tough break for the right fielder, who missed 40 days of the 2015 season after sustaining a fracture in his left hand on another hit by pitch. The team has yet to announce any concrete timetable for Souza Jr.’s return, though manager Kevin Cash indicated that they’ll be taking things day to day for the time being.

Souza Jr. is batting .326/.398/.543 with four home runs and 17 RBI through 104 PA in 2017. He went 1-for-2 with a base hit and a walk prior to his departure during Saturday’s 4-1 loss.