The Sox place Kevin Youkilis on the DL, activate Mike Lowell

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UPDATE: Turns out Youkilis has a torn muscle in his thumb. The team will be getting a second opinion on it (“hmmm, looks merely frayed!”), but the concern was that if he keeps playing, the muscle could detach from the bone. 

4:30 P.M.: Kevin Youkilis had an MRI on his wonky thumb today. It apparently didn’t look so good, because the Sox placed him on the disabled list. The corresponding move: Mike Lowell has been activated and will start at first base tonight.

It’s been so long since we’ve seen Lowell and he’s seemed so far away from the day-to-day of Red Sox consciousness that this reminds of the time the Batmobile got destroyed and Batman went back to that old retro-model he had with the big hood ornament. Still kicked ass, though, and I kind of hope that Lowell does too.

In other news, I’m pretty sure the Red Sox are going to activate me next. They’re running out of bodies, my friends.

Check out Minute Maid Park without Tal’s Hill

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During the offseason, the Astros finally got rid of Tal’s Hill in center field. It was a throwback to older stadiums, some of which had uneven topography — Crosley Field, namely. As unique as it was in the age of cookie cutter sports stadiums, most of us were holding our collective breaths hoping no one ruptured an Achilles or suffered another brutal injury trying to navigate the hill while attempting to catch a fly ball.

We saw what it looked like during reconstruction:

And now, via Julia Morales of ROOT Sports, we see what it looks like after all the work has been done:

The Astros are allowing fans with Lexus Field Club tickets to stand on the new warning track to watch batting practice and shag fly balls as well, Morales notes. Lexus Field Club is where Tal’s Hill used to be.

Good riddance, Tal’s Hill.

Jhoulys Chacin will start Opening Day for the Padres

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Jhoulys Chacin will start on Opening Day, April 3 against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. It will be Chacin’s second Opening Day start, the other coming in 2013 with the Rockies against the Brewers. He’ll be the fifth different Padres pitcher in as many years to start on Opening Day.

Chacin, 29, inked a one-year, $1.75 million contract with the Padres in December. The right-hander spent the 2016 season with the Braves and Angels, compiling an aggregate 4.81 ERA with a 119/55 K/BB ratio in 144 innings.

Lin notes that Chacin will be followed in the rotation by Clayton Richard and Jered Weaver. It will be an interesting rotation, to say the least, as it will arguably be the worst in baseball.