Julio Borbon to miss six weeks after undergoing surgery on left ankle

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According to Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas, Julio Borbon is expected to be sidelined for six weeks after undergoing “left ankle ligament repair surgery” on Monday.

Borbon injured his ankle on a slide into second base on July 8 while playing with Triple-A Round Rock. He fractured the very same ankle in 2007 when he was a senior at the University of Tennessee.

While Borbon has an underwhelming .284/.324/.358 batting line over 745 career major league plate appearances, the Rangers were hoping a strong performance in the minors could pump up his value before the trade deadline. While there’s still a chance that he could rejoin the Rangers as a September call-up, his lengthy absence will effectively put any deal on the back burner.

The Rangers appear satisfied with a tandem of Endy Chavez and Craig Gentry in center field, but top prospect Leonys Martin could eventually be a consideration with the big club. The Cuban outfielder is 8-for-20 (.400) with one double, one RBI and two runs scored over five games since being promoted to Triple-A Round Rock earlier this month.

Another interestingly named player is promoted by the Pirates

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When you promote a player from the minors, the first and foremost consideration is whether or not he can help your ball club. But, assuming that’s taken care of, teams should really, really make it a priority to call up dudes with cool sounding names because it makes life more interesting for the rest of us.

The Pirates are doing that. The other night Dovydas Neverauskas made his big league debut. In addition to being the first Lithuanian born-and-raised player in major league history, it’s a solid, solid name. Now the Pirates are making another promotion: Gift Ngoepe.

Yep, Gift Ngoepe. He’s an infielder from South Africa, making the leap to the bigs due to David Freese‘s hamstring injury. Ngoepe, 27, was batting just .241/.308/.379 through 66 plate appearances this season with Triple-A Indianapolis, his ninth in the minors, so he’s not exactly a prospect. But man, that’s a killer name.

It’s also worth mentioning that Gift and Neverauskas were arrested together in a bar fight last August in Toledo, so there is already a good basis for some bonding here.

Good luck, Gift. Gift Ngoepe. Mr. Ngoepe. G-Ngo. Man, I could do this all day.

Manny Machado teaches us to never give up

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The Rays beat the Orioles last night, but the play of the game belonged to an Oriole defender.

Evan Longoria was batting and he chopped a ball foul down the third base line. At least it started out foul. As we all know, however, it doesn’t matter where the ball starts, it matters where it is when it crosses the bag.

Manny Machado knows this and didn’t give up on the ball despite it starting several feet in foul territory. He watched it come back, stayed with it and threw out Longoria who, unlike Machado, did give up on it, assuming he’d merely get a strike and another hack. Watch:

Longoria would get Machado back, however, fielding a ball Machado smoked to third base in the ninth inning, recording the second to last out of the game.