Ian Kinsler to begin season on disabled list

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Ian Kinsler hasn’t played since suffering a high-ankle sprain on March 11 and MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan reports that the All-Star second baseman will begin the season on the disabled list.
Because the Rangers can backdate Kinsler’s trip to the disabled list he’ll be eligible to return on April 10, but high-ankle sprains can be a tricky injury and he’s no sure thing to be ready by then.
“Our goal is to win the American League West,” assistant general manager Thad Levine told Sullivan. “Ian Kinsler will play a huge part in us accomplishing that goal. We are also well aware of the length of the season. We are not [trying] to get him out there early in the season and cost us more games later in the season.”
Earlier this week the Rangers acquired light-hitting infielder Andres Blanco from the Cubs for a player to be named later or cash, and he could be thrust into the lineup as Kinsler’s replacement at second base early on. Joaquin Arias and non-roster invitees Esteban German and Gregorio Petit are other potential fill-ins.

Padres, Mariners join list of teams to extend netting

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The Reds announced earlier that they plan to extend the protective netting at Great American Ball Park in time for Opening Day next season. You can add the Padres and Mariners to what will surely be a growing list.

A young fan was struck in the face by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, which gave new life to the netting debate. Some fans and media types think Major League Baseball is not doing enough to protect fans. While Major League Baseball has issued guidelines for protective netting, it is ultimately up to the teams to decide just how much netting to use.

Zach Britton receives stem cell injection, likely done for the season

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Orioles closer Zach Britton is likely done for the remainder of the 2017 season after receiving a stem cell injection in his left knee, Peter Schmuck and Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun report. Britton has been battling knee problems for most of the season.

The Orioles are still technically in the AL Wild Card race, entering play Thursday 5.5 games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card slot. With only nine games remaining, however, the 73-80 Orioles are likely being realistic about their chances and not taking any unnecessary risks with Britton.

Britton, 29, put up a 2.89 ERA with 15 saves and a 29/18 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings this season. He will be eligible for arbitration for the fourth and final time this offseason.