Nick Johnson needs surgery, likely out until July

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Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that Nick Johnson will undergo wrist surgery tomorrow and is expected to be sidelined until at least July.
Johnson has been in and out of the lineup for a couple weeks now and apparently a recent cortisone shot wasn’t effective. Signed to a one-year, $5.5 million contract this offseason to replace Johnny Damon in the Yankees’ lineup Johnson has a .388 on-base percentage, but is hitting just .167 with eight RBIs and 12 runs in 24 games. Damon, meanwhile, is hitting .288/.403/.424 in 38 games for the Tigers.
Rather than turn to a full-time replacement for Johnson the Yankees have been cycling various regulars through the DH spot, giving guys like Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano, and Jorge Posada days off defensively. However, now that Johnson is likely out for a couple months (and perhaps much longer, given his history with injuries) it wouldn’t be surprising to see New York start shopping around for a veteran bat. This looks likely to be the fifth time in nine seasons that Johnson will fail to play 100 games.

Mike Trout has a torn thumb ligament, could require surgery

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Yesterday Mike Trout left the Marlins-Angels game after hurting his thumb while sliding head first into second base. After the game the Angels talked about it as if it were just a sprain. Trout had an MRI today, however, and the diagnosis is far worse: he has a torn thumb ligament.

While a treatment option has not yet been chosen, surgery is a possibility. A certainty is that he’ll miss, at the very least, several weeks of play. He has been placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career.

Trout, the reigning AL MVP and, without question, the best player in baseball, is batting .337/.461/.742 with 16 home runs, 36 RBI, 36 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases in 206 plate appearances this season. Even with the one of the weaker supporting casts in baseball, Trout had the Angels near .500 and in at least arguable contention in the AL West.

Without him, they are likely sunk. Without him, baseball is worse off.

Basebrawl! Harper, Strickland punch away, Nats-Giants fight

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SAN FRANCISCO — Nationals slugger Bryce Harper and San Francisco reliever Hunter Strickland both landed punches to the head during a wild brawl that erupted Monday after a hit by pitch.

Harper was hit in the right hip by Strickland’s 98 mph fastball in the eighth inning with Washington ahead 2-0.

Harper pointed the bat toward Strickland, charged the mound and fired his batting helmet wide of the pitcher. They started to swing away and they each connected as the benches and bullpens emptied.

At least two Giants players forcefully dragged Strickland from the middle of the brawl all the way into the dugout. Harper and Strickland were both ejected.

In the 2014 NL Division Series, Harper hit two home runs off Strickland. After the star’s second shot, in Game 4, he stared at Strickland as he rounded the bases.