The Rockies sign Matt Belisle to an extension

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Danny Knobler reports that the Rockies have signed Matt Belisle to a one-year contract extension.  It includes a mutual option for 2014, The extension could be worth a total of $4.3 million.

Belisle has been durable and useful the past two seasons, pitching in more than 70 games each year as the Rockies’ setup man, with ERAs of 2.93 and 3.25.

He also serves as my personal example of an immutable baseball rule. That rule being: “Guys who were drafted by your favorite team out of high school will always seem to be 4-5 years older than they are since you heard about them so early on.”

Really: Belisle is 31. But I’ve been aware of him since the Braves drafted him in 1998 — and since he spent years being talked up as “the next great Braves pitcher” — so he seems like he should pushing 40 or something.  I’m sure there’s a guy who first came up with your team like that too.

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.