Travis Hafner could return to Tribe in late September

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“Pronk” has not been shut down. Yet.

According to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Indians designated hitter Travis Hafner got encouraging news about his strained right foot Wednesday after paying a visit to an “out-of-state” specialist who usually treats NFL players.

Hafner is still required to wear a protective walking boot, but recent signs of progress point to him avoiding the season-ending surgery that he was rumored to be considering last week. If his foot continues to heal and his rehab goes smoothly, the 34-year-old could be cleared to return to the major leagues for the last week or two of September.

Hafner was placed on the disabled list August 22 after straining his right foot while trying to leg out a double in an August 21 game against the Tigers. He’s batted .281/.364/.448 with 11 homers and 49 RBI in 82 games.

Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal to be examined for arm tightness

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Cardinal closer Trevor Rosenthal was taken out of last night’s game against the Red Sox after he gave up a big homer and a walk. He velocity was down as well, and Mike Mathney said after the game that he didn’t look right. Now the Cardinals are going to take a closer look at him, and he’ll be examined today for what is being described as “tightness” in his right arm.

Rosenthal is 3-4 with a 3.40 ERA and a K/BB ratio of 76/20 in 47.2 innings. He has 11 saves after regaining the closer’s job from Seung Hwan Oh. Now some combination of Oh, Tyler Lyons, and John Brebbia will fill in for Rosenthal to the extent he needs to miss time.

Aaron Judge broke a dubious record last night

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Aaron Judge hit a monster home run in last night’s win over the Mets, but he also set a dubious record. Judge struck out for the 33rd consecutive game, setting a new mark for a position player in a single season.

Yes, that’s qualified. No pitchers, of course, as I assume many of them have struck out in more than 33 straight games. Also,  Adam Dunn once struck out in 36 straight games, but that straddled two seasons: he struck out in the final four games of 2011 and the first 32 games of 2012. Still, Judge’s feat is impressive, and given the nature of his game and the state of baseball these days, it’s not hard to imagine him striking out in three or four more straight games anyway.

None of which, by the way, should be all that much of a slight on Judge. The guy is still hitting .291/.420/.614, even with his second half slump. If I was a manager I’d happily accept his whiffs in exchange for everything else he brings to the table. It’s not 1959 anymore, and strikeouts are not the worst thing that can happen.