The Rangers should be whole again soon.
According to the Associated Press, via NBCSports.com, right fielder Nelson Cruz is scheduled to begin a minor league rehab assignment on Monday at Double-A Frisco and left fielder Josh Hamilton is expected to join him on Wednesday.
Cruz has been sidelined since May 3, when he strained his right quadriceps muscle. He should only need three or four rehab games before the Rangers clear him to return to the major leagues.
Hamilton might need a bit longer. He’s been on the disabled list since the second week of the regular season with a broken bone in his upper right arm and is likely to require a full week of minor league at-bats to get his timing back.
Texas is also missing starting center fielder Julio Borbon, who hit the disabled list this weekend due to inflammation in his left hamstring. It’s no wonder the Rangers have fallen to second place in the AL West.
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.
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.