Shaun Marcum still uncertain for Wednesday start

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Shaun Marcum’s status for his next scheduled start is still up in the air.

Marcum, who left Friday’s start against the Red Sox after just one inning with a left hip flexor strain, threw 25 pitches in a bullpen session earlier today, according to Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Marcum was cleared to throw after being examined by team physician Dr. William Raasch earlier today, but the Brewers have yet to make a decision about whether he will start Wednesday against the Rays.

“I have my thoughts on what I want to do, but we’ll see what everyone else wants to do before we make a decision,” he said. “I want to pitch, but that’s just me.

“The ball was coming out of my hand well. I didn’t really feel anything, so I feel like it’s only going to get better. It can’t get worse.”

Rosiak reports that Marcum is expected to do some fielding drills tomorrow to see how his hip reacts getting off the mound, so we’ll likely know something more definitive in the next 24 hours. Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said today that Marco Estrada will likely fill in if Marcum is unable to make the start.

Marcum, who was acquired from the Blue Jays for prospect Brett Lawrie last December, is 7-2 with a 2.85 ERA and 84/24 K/BB ratio over his first 15 starts this season.

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.