Ian Kinsler cleared to resume baseball activities

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Ian Kinsler was cleared to resume baseball activities Tuesday after an MRI showed significant improvement with his strained left groin, according to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com.

Kinsler took batting practice and ran sprints in the outfield Tuesday. He’s expecting to ramp up his workouts as the week continues, but a rehab assignment is not imminent.

“I need to take my time to get into shape,” Kinsler said. “I don’t want
to pull a hamstring because I’m not in shape. I want to make sure my
body is ready to go.”

Kinsler told Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that he doesn’t anticipate returning from the disabled list until before or on September 1, so we’re probably still looking at about another week before he is back. Kinsler has been sidelined since July 27 due to the injury.  

One benefit of having an 8 1/2 game lead in the American League West? He can take all the time he needs.

On a related note, the Rangers purchased the contract of Alex Cora from Triple-A Oklahoma City on Tuesday and designated Joaquin Arias for assignment.

Giants acquire Gordon Beckham from the Braves

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - JULY 27: Gordon Beckham #7 of the Atlanta Braves hits an RBI double against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning of the game on July 27, 2016 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
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The Giants have acquired infielder Gordon Beckham from the Braves in exchange for cash considerations, David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Eduardo Nunez injured his hamstring on Sunday, leaving the Giants with another hole to fill at third base. Beckham isn’t eligible for inclusion on the Giants’ postseason roster.

Beckham, 30, hit .217/.300/.354 with five home runs and 30 RBI in 273 plate appearances with the Braves. He spent most of his time at second base but also spent some time at third base and shortstop. Beckham has nearly 1,500 career innings at third base, so moving back to the hot corner shouldn’t be a big deal.

Steven Matz to undergo “imminent” elbow surgery

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 14:  Steven Matz #32 of the New York Mets pitches in the first inning against the San Diego Padres at Citi Field on August 14, 2016 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
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Mets GM Sandy Alderson addressed the media about the status of starter Steven Matz on Tuesday afternoon. Alderson said that Matz will undergo “imminent” elbow surgery to address a bone spur in the lefty’s elbow, Marc Carig of Newsday reports. That will end Matz’s season.

Matz was expected to return this past Friday, but was scratched due to shoulder soreness. According to Carig, the shoulder doesn’t appear to be a major issue.

Matz, 25, finishes the season with a 9-8 record, a 3.40 ERA, and a 129/31 K/BB ratio in 132 1/3 innings. It was a pretty good showing for his first full season in the majors.

The Mets enter Tuesday’s action a half-game up on the Giants for the first of two National League Wild Card slots. If the Mets can secure one of those slots and then advance to the NLDS, they will likely use a rotation that includes Noah Syndergaard, Bartolo Colon, Seth Lugo, and Robert Gsellman.