Kendrys Morales sidelined with sore left Achilles’ tendon

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According to Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times, Kendrys Morales is not in Angels’ starting lineup tonight due to soreness in his left Achilles’ tendon.

Morales, who missed a year and a half with a broken left ankle, said his Achilles has bothered him for the past three or four days. He was concerned enough to place a call to the doctor who performed the second surgery on his ankle, but he was advised that he should be fine with a couple days of rest.

“He told me it’s normal for that to bother me, since I’ve gone almost two years without playing regularly, and that I need to take a day or two off to rest,” Morales said through a translator. “There’s no real risk [of a major setback] because it’s the Achilles.”

Morales was put on anti-inflammatory medication and could be back in the starting lineup as soon as Sunday. However, he could receive an injection if the soreness lingers.

Morales, 28, is hitting .315/.344/.424 with two homers, nine RBI and a .768 OPS across 96 plate appearances this season.

Imagining Theo Epstein in politics

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“When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer.”

Or: “When Theo Epstein won World Series championships with the two most championship-starved franchises in baseball history, he got bored, and decided to run for the Senate or something.”

That latter bit is the premise of a Politico piece speculating that the Cubs president could go into politics one day. The story features an interview with former Obama chief strategist David Axlerod, who thinks Theo has what it takes. Mostly what he has is fame, popularity, good looks and money. No idea what his positions on issue are, but that other stuff goes a long way in politics these days.

Bonus: given what we just elected last fall, a guy who once had a little temper tantrum and dressed up in a gorilla suit is just as viable a candidate as anyone.

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.