What kind of an innings limit does Stephen Strasburg have?

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Strasburg Harrisburg.jpgStephen Strasburg’s debut yesterday was pretty electrifying. Supreme heat — his first pitch was 99 m.p.h. — and a good breaking ball clearly overmatched opposing hitters. As Keith Law notes, his changeup needs some work, but otherwise he’s a guy who looks like he won’t be spending a ton of time down on the farm.

But how much time will he spend on the mound in Washington this year?  Peter Gammons reports via Twitter that Boras negotiated a 100-innings cap for him Strasburg this season.  The team disputes this, saying that he could pitch 150-160 innings.

I’m inclined to doubt the Gammons report. Not because I don’t trust Gammons, but because Boras has a history of ineffectual beefing about the way his clients are used by teams in a way that suggests that he doesn’t have any leverage when it comes to that stuff. He’s SuperAgent and everything, but I just can’t picture any organization letting him dictate competitive decisions like that.

Figure on Strasburg being up in June and pitching those 150 innings or so.

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.

Video: Brett Gardner goes deep for his first and second home runs of 2017

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It’s been a slow start to the season for Yankees’ outfielder Brett Gardner, who entered Saturday’s matinee against the Orioles with a .188/.316/.234 batting line, three doubles and five stolen bases in his first 76 PA of the year. That all changed in the first inning of Saturday’s game, when Gardner skied a leadoff home run to right field:

Orioles’ right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez couldn’t find his footing against the Yankees in the second inning, either. Gardner returned for his second home run of the season, a three-run shot to lift New York 5-0 over Baltimore:

Measured at 411 feet in the right field bullpen, the left fielder’s blast marked the seventh home run hit by a Yankee this series. According to the club’s PR department, it’s also the first multi-home run game Gardner has recorded since September 2015. The Yankees currently lead the Orioles 7-0 through four innings.