Eric Hurley diagnosed with skull fracture and concussion

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Rangers minor leaguer Eric Hurley was struck on the side of the head by a comebacker during an appearance Monday night at Triple-A Round Rock.

He was able to walk off the field under his own power, but the Round Rock training staff thought it best that he spend a night in the hospital for monitoring.

He wound up spending two.

According to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News, Hurley was finally released from the hospital on Wednesday morning but has been diagnosed with a small skull fracture and a moderate concussion.

Hurley hasn’t pitched in a major league game since the summer of 2008 because of should and wrist injuries, but also general ineffectiveness. The 25-year-old has a 5.47 career big league ERA, a 13/9 career K/BB ratio and a 1.42 career WHIP.

The Rangers aren’t offering up a timetable for his return. It could be several weeks or even several months.

Royals sign Michael Saunders to a minor-league deal

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Free agent outfielder Michael Saunders has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Royals, the team announced Friday. While the move comes just two days after Saunders agreed to terms with the Pirates, he allegedly asked for his release after the club acquired outfielder Corey Dickerson in a multi-player swap with the Rays on Thursday.

After earning his first spot on an All-Star team in 2016, Saunders followed up a solid campaign with a career-worst performance in 2017. The 31-year-old split the season between the Phillies and Blue Jays’ camps, batting a combined .202/.256/.344 with six home runs and -0.7 fWAR in 234 plate appearances. Although he remained healthy throughout the year, with no sign of the lingering hamstring strain that has plagued him on and off since 2013, he wasn’t productive enough to merit a full-time role on either roster.

With Dickerson slated for a starting role in Pittsburgh, it was unlikely that Saunders would have commanded anything other than a backup role in 2018. Now, however, he’ll compete for playing time amid a slew of outfield options, including Alex Gordon, Cody Asche, Jorge Bonifacio, Tyler Collins and Paulo Orlando.