Royals’ Chris Getz suffers broken thumb, out for season

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The Royals had Chris Getz replace Alex Gordon in the leadoff spot Friday against the White Sox, but it proved to be a one-day experiment. Getz suffered a broken left thumb bunting in the fifth inning and is expected to miss the rest of the season.

Getz was 0-for-3 in the game, leaving him at .275/.312/.360 in 189 at-bats for the year. He usually doesn’t start against lefties, but the Royals had him in there tonight because he was 6-for-11 lifetime against White Sox starter Chris Sale.

With Getz out, the Royals figure to turn second base over to Johnny Giavotella, who is hitting .323/.404/.472 for Triple-A Omaha. As much as it has to suck for Getz, the injury might benefit the Royals for the long haul: they need to let Giavotella play every day and see if he’s going to be their long-term answer at second base. He’ll get that opportunity now, and the Royals can determine this winter whether to go forward with him as a regular.

Anibal Sanchez accepts optional assignment to Triple-A

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The Tigers announced on Monday that pitcher Anibal Sanchez has accepted an optional assignment to Triple-A Toledo. Pitcher Warwick Saupold was recalled from Toledo to take Sanchez’s roster spot.

Sanchez, 33, continued to struggle this season pitching out of the bullpen. He gave up 26 runs (21 earned) on 34 hits and nine walks with 22 strikeouts in 21 innings. Nine of those 34 hits were home runs. Sanchez finished the 2015 season with a 4.99 ERA and last season with a 5.87 ERA, so he’s had a rough go of it in recent years.

The decision to go to Triple-A was Sanchez’s, Anthony Fenech of the Free Press reports. Sanchez wants to be stretched out as a starting pitcher again.

Braves release James Loney

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Just a few days after inking him to a minor league deal, the Braves have released first baseman James Loney, the team announced on Monday. Loney became expendable when the Braves acquired Matt Adams from the Cardinals on Saturday as a replacement for the injured Freddie Freeman.

Loney, 33, appeared in two games at Triple-A Gwinnett. He had one hit, a single, and one walk in eight plate appearances.

Loney will likely have to wait for another team to deal with an injured first baseman or DH before he can secure another contract.