Martin Prado feels pain in broken finger during batting practice

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Not exactly what you want to hear if you are Braves fan. According to Chris Vivlamore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Martin Prado felt pain in his broken right pinky finger when he took batting practice indoors Friday.

“The vibration is bothering me,” Prado said. “It stings a little bit.”

“They told me it won’t be easy,” Prado said. “It’s not going to go away.
I’m just trying to get all my strength back. A little bit of pain won’t
be a problem.”

Prado is eligible to return from the disabled list on Sunday, however Braves manager Bobby Cox doesn’t think his All-Star second baseman will be ready that quickly. For now, Prado will see how his finger responds on Saturday. The good news is that hasn’t had any issues fielding ground balls or soft-tossing thus far. 

“I wish I could tell you how long it’s going to take,” Prado said. “I’m going to do as much as I can to get back.”

Prado was batting .315/.357/.484 with 13 homers and 43 RBI before going on the disabled list on July 31.

The Braves haven’t vocalized a clear plan on a replacement at third base now that Chipper Jones is lost for the season and Prado’s recovery likely plays a part in that. The ideal scenario would be to keep Omar Infante at second base and move Prado over to third, but it won’t be realistic if he doesn’t feel comfortable making long throws across the diamond. 

Yankees sign top two draft picks

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The Yankees signed first-round draft pick Clarke Schmidt and second-round pick Matt Sauer on Saturday, per a team announcement. Schmidt, a right-hander from the University of South Carolina, is set to earn a signing bonus of $2,184,300. According to MLB.com’s Oliver Macklin, that’s much lower than the typical $3+ million allocated for a No. 16 overall pick. The opposite is true for Sauer, whose projected $2.5 million signing bonus tops the suggested $1.2 million reserved for a No. 54 pick.

Schmidt, 21, boasts an impressive four-pitch repertoire and profiles as a front-end or mid-rotation starter, according to reports from Yankees’ VP of Domestic Amateur Scouting Damon Oppenheimer and ESPN’s Keith Law, among others. He carried a 4-2 record through nine starts in 2017 and turned in a 1.34 ERA before undergoing season-ending Tommy John surgery last month to repair a torn UCL in his right elbow. While the Yankees won’t see him pitch at any level until late 2018, they seem confident in his makeup and ability to rebound over the next couple of years.

Fellow right-hander and Righetti High School senior Matt Sauer is a different story altogether. The 18-year-old hurler appears destined for the bullpen with a polished fastball-slider combo and a promising curveball and changeup. He dazzled on the mound this year, going 9-1 with an 0.98 ERA and two shutouts over 78 1/3 innings. While the Yankees seem most interested in his pitching skills, Sauer showed some pop at the plate as well, touting a .427 average with 24 RBI through 135 plate appearances.

Three A’s rookies hit their first big league home runs on Saturday

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The Athletics followed Friday’s 3-0 shutout with a rookie-led home run derby on Saturday afternoon, watching not one, not two, but three rookies belt their first major league home runs off of the White Sox’ James Shields.

Right fielder Matt Olson was the first to strike, taking Shields deep on a first-pitch, two-run blast in the first inning for his first home run in 49 major league plate appearances:

Fellow outfielder Jaycob Brugman duplicated his teammate’s results in the second inning with a solo home run, his first extra-base hit of any kind since he made his debut on June 9:

In the third, with a comfortable 4-0 lead backing two scoreless frames from Oakland right-hander Daniel Gossett, Franklin Barreto took his shot at Shields. After getting the call several hours prior to Saturday’s game, he became the fastest of the three rookies to record his first big league homer, going yard on a 2-2 changeup and driving in Bruce Maxwell to give the A’s a six-run advantage.

The Athletics currently lead the White Sox 8-2 in the top of the sixth inning.