Kevin Slowey placed on disabled list with shoulder strain

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According to Phil Mackey of 1500ESPN.com, the Twins have placed Kevin Slowey on the 15-day disabled list with a shoulder strain. The 26-year-old right-hander was shut down after an appearance Monday with what Twins manager Ron Gardenhire initially called “biceps discomfort.”

Slowey was moved to the bullpen at the end of spring training after the final spot in the starting rotation was awarded to Scott Baker. He has allowed one run over 3 2/3 innings across his first three relief appearances this season while striking out three and walking one.

The Twins have called up Alex Burnett to take Slowey’s place on the active roster. The 23-year-old right-hander posted a 5.29 ERA and 37/23 K/BB ratio over 47 2/3 innings with the Twins last season.

Mike Trout has a torn thumb ligament, could require surgery

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Yesterday Mike Trout left the Marlins-Angels game after hurting his thumb while sliding head first into second base. After the game the Angels talked about it as if it were just a sprain. Trout had an MRI today, however, and the diagnosis is far worse: he has a torn thumb ligament.

While a treatment option has not yet been chosen, surgery is a possibility. A certainty is that he’ll miss, at the very least, several weeks of play. He has been placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career.

Trout, the reigning AL MVP and, without question, the best player in baseball, is batting .337/.461/.742 with 16 home runs, 36 RBI, 36 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases in 206 plate appearances this season. Even with the one of the weaker supporting casts in baseball, Trout had the Angels near .500 and in at least arguable contention in the AL West.

Without him, they are likely sunk. Without him, baseball is worse off.

Basebrawl! Harper, Strickland punch away, Nats-Giants fight

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SAN FRANCISCO — Nationals slugger Bryce Harper and San Francisco reliever Hunter Strickland both landed punches to the head during a wild brawl that erupted Monday after a hit by pitch.

Harper was hit in the right hip by Strickland’s 98 mph fastball in the eighth inning with Washington ahead 2-0.

Harper pointed the bat toward Strickland, charged the mound and fired his batting helmet wide of the pitcher. They started to swing away and they each connected as the benches and bullpens emptied.

At least two Giants players forcefully dragged Strickland from the middle of the brawl all the way into the dugout. Harper and Strickland were both ejected.

In the 2014 NL Division Series, Harper hit two home runs off Strickland. After the star’s second shot, in Game 4, he stared at Strickland as he rounded the bases.