Barmes_Clint

Clint Barmes out 4-6 weeks with fracture in left hand

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Clint Barmes was optimistic that he only suffered a bruise after being hit on the left hand by Yankees right-hander Ivan Nova last night. However, X-rays this morning revealed a non-displaced fracture of the the fifth metacarpal bone. In layman’s terms, a broken hand.

According to Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle, Barmes will be sidelined for about 4-6 weeks.

“The good news is that they said I can stay in shape with everything, pretty much – throwing, running, all my core stuff,” said Barmes, who is righthanded. “I just can’t use my hand right now to catch the ball or swing.”

The injury to Barmes now sends the Astros scrambling for a starting shortstop. Matt Downs, Angel Sanchez, Anderson Hernandez and Oswaldo Navarro all remain in big league camp while Tommy Manzella, who was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City earlier this week, is also a possibility.

You know, the Astros’ options for shortstop might be worse than what the Marlins could have at third base to begin the season. I didn’t think that was possible.

Report: Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on Sonny Gray

OAKLAND, CA - AUGUST 06: Sonny Gray #54 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at the Oakland Coliseum on August 6, 2016 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
Jason O. Watson/Getty Images
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The Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on starting pitcher Sonny Gray, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Astros have added Charlie Morton this offseason, but the club has been trying to add a big-name starting pitcher to put at the top of the rotation behind Dallas Keuchel.

Gray, 27, was limited to 22 starts in the 2016 season due to a forearm issue. His stats left a lot to be desired, as he finished with a 5-11 record, a 5.69 ERA, and a 94/42 K/BB ratio over 117 innings. Considering how Gray pitched in the previous three years, he’s a good bet to bounce back.

Gray is under team control through 2019, which is a big draw for the Astros. Needless to say, the Athletics would want a haul in terms of prospects. Gray will earn $3.575 million in 2017, having avoided arbitration in his first year of eligibility.

President Obama Welcomes the Cubs to the White House

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As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.

Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.

Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.