Paul Konerko scratched from lineup after minor wrist procedure

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Scott Merkin of MLB.com reports that Paul Konerko was scratched from tonight’s lineup against the Tigers after having a loose fragment removed from his left wrist earlier today. While he won’t start the game, he will be available off the bench.

As Merkin notes, the minor procedure is likely related to chronic wrist soreness experienced by Konerko in the early part of May. The 35-year-old first baseman is batting .310/.380/.516 with 12 homers and 44 RBI over his first 247 plate appearances this season, so the issue hasn’t dramatically affected his production in any way.

Adam Dunn, who was originally out of Friday’s lineup, will start in his place against left-hander Andy Oliver. Dunn is still in search of his first hit against a left-handed pitcher this season. He enters Friday’s contest 0-for-38 with 17 strikeouts against southpaws.

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.