After 10 days off, Angel Pagan plays in extended spring game

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In his first action since going down with a strained left oblique, Angel Pagan went 1-for-4 with a walk while playing five innings in an extended spring training game Monday.

Obliques strains tend to require at least three weeks on the DL, but Pagan appears to be aiming to make it back in the minimum 15 days.  He’s eligible to be activated on Saturday.

With Pagan sidelined, the Mets have been using Jason Pridie in center field, and the 27-year-old Triple-A veteran has been surprisingly successful, going 7-for-25 with two homers and five RBI in seven games.  It could present the Mets with a bit of dilemma when Pagan is activated.  Neither Scott Hairston nor Willie Harris has been productive in a reserve role, but both are established veterans and it’s doubtful either is interested in accepting a minor league assignment.  The Mets won’t keep all three, so unless he really tears it up the next few days, Pridie is probably going to end up back in Triple-A.

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.