Royals ink Rick Ankiel to one-year contract

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ankiel smiling.JPGAccording to Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports, the Royals and outfielder Rick
Ankiel have agreed to terms on a one-year, $3.25 million contract with a $6 million mutual option for 2011.

Scott Boras strikes again.  Ankiel seems like a fine human being and we should all applaud his transformation from headcase pitcher to homer-hitting outfielder, but his days as an effective everyday player are through.  The guy has far too many holes in his swing.  He hit just .231 last season with a .285 on-base percentage over 404 plate appearances and struck out 99 times.  Oh, and he turns 31 this season.  To add such a lucrative mutual option was silly, whether or not it’s ever exercised.

Let’s look on the bright side for just a minute, though.  Ankiel does boast one of the strongest throwing arms in the league and has compiled decent UZR/150 marks at the corner outfield positions.  He has also pieced together a .254/.324/.469 batting line against right-handed pitchers over the last three seasons.  If used correctly, maybe — just maybe — he can have a positive impact on the 2010 edition of the Kansas City Royals.  It’s not like that offense can get any worse.

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.