UPDATE: Colvin struck by bat shard, done for year

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Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports wrote a column in early May with a frightening but eye-opening lead sentence.  “Someone’s going to die at a baseball stadium soon,” he surmised, because of the splintering effect of newly popularized maple bats.

That didn’t happen this afternoon at the Marlins’ Sun Life Stadium.  But it could have.

Cubs outfielder Tyler Colvin was struck in the left side of his chest by a shard from a broken bat while running down the third-base line during Sunday’s game against the Marlins.  It cut through the skin, left a deep wound, and he had to be rushed to a local hospital for precautionary monitoring.  This all comes via Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times.

Colvin will be fine.  He had minimal external bleeding and will probably return to the field early this week.  But had that bat shard struck him just a few inches lower — near the heart — we might’ve had a real tragedy on our hands.

It’s time to do something about the composition of baseball’s wooden bats.  Whether that means outlawing maple or throwing money into research for the standardization of a type of lumber, action must be taken before a player, umpire or fan is killed at a baseball stadium.

Colvin, a rookie outfielder, has hit .254/.316/.500 with 20 home runs, 18 doubles, five triples and 56 RBI in 358 at-bats this season.  He is 25.

UPDATE: MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann shares an incredible screen grab of the shard just inches from Colvin’s chest.

UPDATE II:
Wittenmyer says that Colvin will remain in a Miami hospital for the next 2-3 days as a precautionary measure.  The shard punctured his chest wall and air got in, but he is now in stable condition and expected to make a speedy recovery.

UPDATE III: The Chicago Tribune is now reporting that Colvin will not play again this season.

Orioles re-sign Michael Bourn to a minor league deal

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 04:  Michael Bourn #1 of the Baltimore Orioles hits a single in the fifth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays during the American League Wild Card game at Rogers Centre on October 4, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
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The Orioles have re-signed outfielder Michael Bourn to a minor league contract with an invitation to major league camp, MASN’s Roch Kubatko reports.

Bourn, 34, joined the Orioles last year in a trade from the Diamondbacks on August 31. Though he compiled a meager .669 OPS with the Diamondbacks, Bourn hit a solid .283/.358/.435 in 55 plate appearances with the O’s through the end of the season.

Bourn, a non-roster invitee to camp, will try to play his way onto the Orioles’ 25-man roster. If he does make the roster, Bourn will receive a $2 million salary, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports points out.

Shelby Miller is in the best mental shape of his life

PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 24:  Shelby Miller #26 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches in the first inning during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on May 24, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
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Diamondbacks starter Shelby Miller had about as bad a season as one can have. He was the headliner in the trade that sent 2015 No. 1 overall pick Dansby Swanson, All-Star outfielder Ender Inciarte, and highly-regarded pitching prospect Aaron Blair to the Braves. It was a trade that was pilloried at the time and continues to be pilloried to this day.

Miller didn’t do then-GM Dave Stewart any favors with his 2016 performance. He went 3-12 with a 6.15 ERA and a 70/42 K/BB ratio over 101 innings. That included a bout with mechanical failure, as he kept hitting the mound with his follow-through. He went on the disabled list. And after that, he was demoted to Triple-A. After getting fired, Stewart expressed remorse over acquiring Miller — or, more accurately, giving up Swanson to do so.

So, the 26-year-old Miller heads into 2017 without any momentum. To his credit, though, he’s going into the new season with a very positive perspective. Via Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports:

I’m just in a really happy place, away from the field, on the field. […]

Maybe it’s just the way I go about everything, trying to be positive in every single aspect of life. Baseball’s not perfect. I’m not perfect. I know bumps in the road are going to happen. Last year was obviously not just a bump, but a huge mountain. Right now, that’s completely behind me. I’m not worried about any of that.

I’m really ready for this year, ready to redeem myself so much.

Even pitching coach Mike Butcher sees the change in Miller’s mentality. “He’s not a different guy. But you can see there’s a presence in him. That’s what we need. Just be Shelby Miller. You don’t have to live up to anything. Just be yourself.”

Manager Torey Lovullo, too, praised Miller. “I saw a guy who had spent a lot of time taking care of his business in the weight room — he looks fantastic, in fantastic shape,” he said.

It sounds like Miller is not only in great mental shape, but great physical shape, too. Is it the “best shape of his life”? Only time can tell.