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: Orioles interested in Lance Lynn

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The Orioles singlehandedly kept the rumor mill churning this weekend. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the club is interested in making a play for free agent right-hander Lance Lynn, adding him to a list of potential candidates that also includes free agent righty Alex Cobb. The two are expected to command similar contracts in free agency, but Morosi notes that the Orioles may prefer Cobb based on his familiarity with the AL East.

Lynn, 30, is two years removed from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Despite missing the 2016 season, he bounced back with a respectable 11-8 record in 33 starts and complemented his efforts with a 3.43 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 over 186 1/3 innings for the 2017 Cardinals. He lost several days with a blister on his pitching hand in early September, but managed to avoid any major injuries and can reasonably be expected to shoulder another heavy workload in 2018.

Lynn may not be the Orioles’ first choice to beef up their starting rotation, but there’s no doubt that he’ll be in high demand as one of very few viable starters on the market this winter. The veteran righty rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals on Thursday and will likely be seeking a multi-year contract, one that Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch estimates around five years and $100+ million. If the Orioles are willing to bite that bullet, they’ll still need to compensate the Cardinals with their third pick in next year’s draft.