Trevor Bauer to make major league debut Thursday

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Rather than give Josh Collmenter another spot start, the Diamondbacks will promote top prospect Trevor Bauer in time to start Thursday’s game against the Braves, Jack Magruder of FOXSportsArizona.com reports.

Bauer was removed from his start Sunday after 50 pitches, suggesting that the Diamondbacks were looking at it as a tuneup for Thursday’s outing.

The 21-year-old Bauer was the third overall pick in the 2011 draft out of UCLA. He’ll 11-1 with a 2.19 ERA and a 111/46 K/BB ratio in 90 1/3 innings between Double- and Triple-A this season. He allowed one run in 2 2/3 innings and struck out five in Sunday’s outing for Reno. Considered by most to be one of the game’s top five pitching prospects, he was scheduled to pitched for the U.S. team at next month’s Futures Game.

Bauer will be taking the place of Joe Saunders, who was DL’d with shoulder inflammation on Saturday. It’s uncertain when he’ll return.

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.