Link-O-Rama: Heel injury ends Scutaro's breakout season

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* Marco Scutaro’s career-best season is likely over after an MRI exam revealed a tear in the plantar fasciitis of his right heel. The injury comes at an inopportune time for the 33-year-old impending free agent, but hitting .282/.379/.409 with 12 homers, 35 doubles, 90 walks, and 14 steals in 144 games as the Blue Jays’ starting shortstop still figures to at least quadruple his current $1.1 million salary in 2010.
* Curt Schilling has officially decided not to run for Ted Kennedy’s vacant senate seat. “Regardless of the amount of support and outreach that’s been given to me, it just did not make sense,” Schilling said. Meanwhile, polling in Massachusetts suggested that he had little chance to win anyway.
* Team USA opened the World Cup final round yesterday with a 6-3 victory over Venezuela, who previously handed the United States their only loss of the tournament. Pirates prospects Pedro Alvarez and Brad Lincoln starred in the win.
* Flip Flop Fly Ball has a cool graphic showing how often the team with baseball’s best record goes on to win the World Series.
* Mariners fans are now free to go strip-clubbing around Safeco Field.

Adam Eaton sustains leg injury after tripping over first base

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Nationals’ outfielder Adam Eaton was carried off the field after stumbling over first base on Friday night. In the ninth inning of the Nationals’ 7-5 loss to the Mets, Eaton appeared to catch his ankle on the bag as he ran out an infield single, suffering a leg injury on the fall. He was unable to put pressure on his left leg after the play and required assistance by two of the Nationals’ athletic trainers as he exited the field.

Eaton is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday, but Nationals’ manager Dusty Baker told reporters that it “doesn’t look too good.” It’s the first significant leg injury the outfielder has sustained since 2014, when he went on the 15-day disabled list with a hamstring strain. He’ll likely be replaced by Michael Taylor in center field for the next couple of games, though that could be a temporary fix as the Nationals seek a better solution during Eaton’s recovery process.

Madison Bumgarner likely sidelined through the All-Star break

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It’s been just over a week since Giants’ left-hander Madison Bumgarner got a serious scare after a nasty dirt bike accident. He escaped with bruised ribs and a Grade 2 strain of his left shoulder AC joint, but there was some speculation that the injuries would cause a significant, if not permanent, setback in the southpaw’s career. Thankfully, things aren’t looking quite so bleak today. Not only will Bumgarner not require surgery, but he could return as soon as the week following the All-Star break, the Giants said Friday.

Of course, that timeline is wholly dependent on how smoothly the recovery process goes, so nothing is set in stone yet. NBC Sports Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic estimates 2-3 months of rest and rehab, including “two months before he can get back on the mound and then another three to four weeks of throwing and rehab starts before he’s big league-ready.” It’s a long and laborious schedule, but still looks much better than any surgical alternative.

Prior to the accident, Bumgarner was working on a solid start to the 2017 season. He maintained a 3.00 ERA, 1.3 BB/9 and 9.3 SO/9 through 27 innings with the club, though his average 1.75 runs of support per start fed into an 0-3 record.