New York Yankees v Texas Rangers

The Rangers’ Opening Day outfield could all soon be on the disabled list

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UPDATE: It’s official. Borbon was placed on the 15-day disabled list this afternoon with left hamstring inflammation. Endy Chavez has been called up from Triple-A Round Rock.

11:00 AM: Julio Borbon left last night’s game against the Angels in the top of the seventh inning with a strained left hamstring.

While Borbon downplayed the injury in his comments to Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas.com following the game, we’ll know more about his status after he undergoes an MRI later today.

“As soon as I broke to the ball and took the first couple of steps, I felt a slight pull,” said Borbon, who added the hamstring was a little tight the past few days. “Even though it was something I knew wasn’t going to allow me to go full speed, I kept drifting and dragging my leg and I didn’t want to go where it would pop. I would say it was a slight pull right now.”

If Borbon does indeed require a stint on the disabled list, that means the entire Opening Day outfield would be on the DL at the same time. Josh Hamilton is currently working his way back from a fractured right humerus while Nelson Cruz is close to going on a rehab assignment after straining his right quad earlier this month.

The injury is ill-timed for Borbon, who has found himself back in the good graces of Rangers manager Ron Washington with a recent 10-game hitting streak. Endy Chavez was pulled from a game with Triple-A Round Rock last night and would likely replace Borbon on the roster if he needs to go on the disabled list. Chavez hasn’t played in the big leagues since undergoing surgery to repair a torn ACL and MCL in his right knee in July of 2009.

Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez killed in a boating accident

MIAMI, FL - AUGUST 03: Jose Fernandez #16 of the Miami Marlins looks on during a game against the New York Mets at Marlins Park on August 3, 2015 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
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Horrible news: Miami Marlins ace starting pitcher Jose Fernandez was killed in a boat crash off of Miami Beach late last night.

No details have been released yet, apart from the fact that Fernandez was one of three people killed. The Marlins have issued a statement confirming Fernandez’s death, stating that the organization is devastated and that their thoughts and prayers were with Fernandez’s family. Today’s Marlins game against the Braves has been canceled.

Fernandez was only 24 years old. Though only in his fourth season in the majors, he was easily one of the best and most exciting pitchers in the game. In his four seasons he won 38 games and posted a fantastic ERA of 2.58 while striking out 11.2 batters per nine innings. He was an electric presence on the mound and was poised to become one of baseball’s most highly-paid and entertaining superstars.

His baseball exploits seem trivial now, however. His loss at such a young age, tragic. Our thoughts today are with Fernandez’s family, the Marlins organization and those who knew and loved him.

The Nationals are NL East champs once again

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 24:  Max Scherzer #31 of the Washington Nationals celebrates after clinching the National League East Division Championship after defeating the Pittsburgh Pirates 6-1 at PNC Park on September 24, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
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Another day, another division title in the bag. The Nationals coasted to a 6-1 finish over the Pirates on Saturday evening; coupled with a Mets’ loss later that night, the NL East title was theirs for the third time since 2012.

The Nationals put up a three-spot in the first and fourth innings, scoring five of six runs on productive outs while Washington starter Joe Ross tossed 2  innings of one-run ball in his second start off the disabled list. Prior to the game, manager Dusty Baker seemed reluctant to delegate a set number of pitches to the right-hander, opting instead to base Ross’s workload on his performance.

Washington’s bullpen carried the team the rest of the way, combining for 6 ⅓ scoreless frames to preserve their five-run lead. When Anthony Rendon snared a liner from Andrew McCutchen to end the game, all eyes turned to the clubhouse TVs:

Murphy had sufficient cause for worry: After trailing 10-0 through four innings, the Mets returned with an eight-run drive that culminated with Jay Bruce‘s solo shot in the ninth inning. Had Bruce hit the home run after Philadelphia closer Michael Mariot issued a pair of walks, and not before, the Mets would have edged out the Phillies, 11-10. Instead, their late-game rally ended on a fastball down the middle, and the Phillies’ 70th victory confirmed the Nats’ place atop the NL East.

While Max Scherzer donned his two-toned goggles and Bryce Harper braved the champagne showers in U.S. Olympic swimmer Katie Ledecky’s swim cap, Baker was already thinking about Sunday’s start. Against the Pirates’ Tyler Glasnow, Baker announced his plans to start 24-year-old A.J. Cole, whose seven starts have yielded a 4.68 ERA and 0.2 fWAR in 32 ⅔ innings this year.

Cole hasn’t displayed the sharpest stuff in his sophomore season, touting a high 3.03 BB/9 and 1.93 HR/9, but with the division locked down and the Cubs in sole possession of home field advantage through the NLCS, the Nationals have bigger concerns as the playoffs draw near.