Red Sox 'tracking the progress of Chris Iannetta'

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Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that “the Red Sox are tracking the progress of catcher Chris Iannetta in Triple-A Colorado Springs in case the Rockies make him available.”
Despite being 27 years old and a three-time Opening Day starter with over 1,100 career plate appearances Iannetta was demoted to Triple-A last month when he got off to a 4-for-30 (.133) start. He’s hitting .362 with five homers, seven doubles, and a 1.191 OPS in 15 games at Triple-A, but there’s no indication that the Rockies plan to bring him back, let alone give him a chance to reclaim his starting job over Miguel Olivo.
Boston’s interest in Iannetta would seemingly come into play after the season, when Victor Martinez and Jason Varitek are both free agents. What made the Rockies’ decision to demote Iannetta all the more confusing is that they signed him to a three-year, $8.5 million extension in January. Plenty of teams should be looking to take advantage of the Rockies souring on an under-30 catcher with a .799 career OPS and 23 homers per 500 at-bats who’s signed cheaply through 2012.

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.