Barry Zito suffers sprained ankle while making rehab start

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Giants left-hander Barry Zito was placed on the 15-day disabled list at the beginning of August with a sprained muscle in his right foot.

He made a successful rehab start last Monday at Single-A San Jose, tossing 7 2/3 innings while allowing only three runs, and looked to be on track to return to the major leagues within a week or two. But everything must now be put on hold.

According to beat writer Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News, Zito suffered a sprained left ankle Saturday evening at Triple-A Fresno while making his second minor league rehab start.

X-rays have already ruled out a fracture, but Giants manager Bruce Bochy told reporters on Sunday morning that Zito is probably going to be sidelined for an extended period of time.

“I saw a picture and it’s pretty bad,” said Bochy. “It’s very swollen. It looks like there’s a baseball in there. It looks like it’ll be quite awhile.”

The injury happened while Zito was attempting to back up home plate. He took an awkward step and his ankle gave out. The 33-year-old has posted a 5.62 ERA and 1.33 WHIP across nine major league starts this year.

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.