Jaime Garcia will attempt to rehab shoulder injury rather than undergo surgery

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Jaime Garcia appeared bound for shoulder surgery after receiving the same diagnosis from three different doctors last week, but it turns out he won’t go under the knife. At least not yet.

According to Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com, Dr. James Andrews recommended that Garcia attempt to rehab a rotator cuff strain and inflammation in his left shoulder rather than undergo surgery. He’ll be re-evaluated in two or three weeks by Cardinals head physician Dr. George Paletta, so plans could change if he fails to make progress.

Garcia posted a 3.92 ERA over 20 starts this season and missed two months with a shoulder strain. He was pulled from his start in Game 2 of the NLDS against the Nationals last Monday due to continued discomfort. The 26-year-old southpaw is owed $5.75 million next season, $7.75 million in 2014 and $9.25 million in 2015 while his contract includes club options for 2016 and 2017.

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.