Brennan Boesch diagnosed with second-degree thumb sprain

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Brennan Boesch’s thumb injury is more serious than the Tigers initially hoped, as he was diagnosed with a second-degree sprain that will keep him out of the lineup for at least a few days.

Jason Beck of MLB.com reports that Boesch saw a hand specialist yesterday, getting an MRI exam and X-rays, but he’ll need the swelling to go down before he can grip a bat with his non-throwing hand.

Boesch described himself as “cautiously optimistic” about avoiding the disabled list and getting back into the lineup by early next week, but in the meantime Ryan Raburn played left field in his absence yesterday.

Even before the injury Boesch was in a second-half slump for the second time in two seasons, although his dropoff after the All-Star break hasn’t been as extreme as the rookie version.

Giancarlo Stanton will defend his Home Run Derby title

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The Marlins announced on Sunday that outfielder Giancarlo Stanton will defend his Home Run Derby title when the city of Miami host’s the All-Star Game festivities next month.

Stanton, 27, defeated Todd Frazier in the finals of last year’s Home Run Derby at Petco Park, hitting 20 home runs to Frazier’s 13. Stanton hit a total of 61 home runs in the Derby. This will be the third Home Run Derby in which Stanton has participated.

Stanton also went 1-for-3 with a solo home run to help the Marlins defeat the Cubs 4-2 on Sunday. He’s now batting .274/.357/.551 with 20 home runs and 49 RBI in 311 plate appearances.

Aaron Hicks to go on the disabled list with an oblique injury

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Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks left Sunday’s game against the Rangers after four innings due to soreness in his right oblique. After the game, Hicks said he expects to go on the 10-day disabled list and miss the next three to four weeks, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports.

Hicks was 1-for-2 with a single before departing on Sunday. He entered the game batting .288/.397/.515 with 10 home runs and 37 RBI in 198 plate appearances. It is by far the best season of his career.

Jacoby Ellsbury is on his way back from a concussion, so the Yankees will only have to bridge the gap in center field for a week or two. Mason Williams could draw some starts in center field in the meantime.