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A-Rod was on heavy painkillers, had to go to the ER during the playoffs

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That’s the report from Ken Rosenthal, who tweets that A-Rod was re-injured before the playoffs and that he was “on pain medication throughout the post-season. Pain so severe after one of DS games, he had to be taken to emergency room and spent night there.”

Hurm.

On the one hand, I’m tempted to say that this is certainly sobering for the people who wanted to trash the hell out of Rodriguez during the playoffs.

On the other hand, how in the world could no one have reported that A-Rod spent a night in an ER during the playoffs before now?  That kind of thing has to get out, doesn’t it? Heck, given how much crap people were piling on Rodriguez, you’d think the Yankees would have leaked or reported this themselves in an effort to protect their player from being attacked the way he was being attacked back in October.

Whatver the case, my spidey sense tells me that, yes, A-Rod was in a lot more pain during the playoffs than was generally reported, but that perhaps someone — maybe someone close to A-Rod — is gilding the lily a bit here.

As always, of course, if A-Rod can come back and play, this will be forgotten. If not, he’ll be considered a bum or a slacker or whatever it is people like to consider A-Rod.  He’ll never get credit for trying to play through pain.

Report: Phillies want a top-five prospect for Jeremy Hellickson

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JULY 20: Starting pitcher Jeremy Hellickson #58 of the Philadelphia Phillies throws a pitch in the second inning during a game against the Miami Marlins at Citizens Bank Park on July 20, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
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Starter Jeremy Hellickson has become the Phillies’ most enticing trade chip as he’s put together a solid month of July. After shutting out the Marlins on one hit and one walk over six innings on Monday, the right-hander lowered his July ERA to 1.97 and his overall ERA to 3.65. As a result, the Phillies are telling teams they want a top-five prospect to part with Hellickson, per ESPN’s Jayson Stark.

Obviously, a top-five prospect means something different if you’re the Marlins as opposed to the Rangers. And the Phillies’ price point for Hellickson isn’t likely to stay that high, but GM Matt Klentak is setting a lofty starting point so that the return might end up being higher than market value.

ESPN’s Buster Olney speculates that the Phillies could end up holding onto Hellickson and giving him a qualifying offer after the season. He notes that the Phillies have only $25 million tied up for the 2017 season, so they could afford to pay Hellickson in excess of $16 million if he were to accept.

Video: Matt Cain launches a three-run home run

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JULY 26: Matt Cain #18 of the San Francisco Giants hits a three run home run against the Cincinnati Reds during the second inning at AT&T Park on July 26, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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Madison Bumgarner isn’t the only Giants pitcher who can rake. Matt Cain crushed a three-run home run during Tuesday’s game against the Giants.

Cain stepped to the plate with runners on the corner and one out against Reds starter Cody Reed in the bottom of the second inning. Reed threw a 1-1 fastball down the middle and Cain hit it about 20 rows back in the left field seats.

It’s Cain’s first homer of the season, his first since 2012, and the seventh of his 12-year career. He still has some work to catch up to Bumgarner, who has two homers this year and 13 in his career.

On the pitching side of things, Cain got the win against the Reds on Tuesday night, giving up four runs on six hits and a walk with four strikeouts in 5 1/3 innings. He currently holds an ugly 5.95 ERA.