Brian Burres signs to pitch with team in Taiwan

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According to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports, left-hander Brian Burres has agreed to a contract with the Lamigo Monkeys of Taiwan’s Chinese Professional Baseball League. Yes, I’m pretty sure this is the first mention of the Lamigo Monkeys on HBT.

Burres owns a 5.75 ERA over 56 starts and 50 relief appearances in the majors, making stops with the Orioles, Pirates and Blue Jays. The 31-year-old pitched exclusively in the minors last season with the Giants’ minor league system, posting a 5.40 ERA and 63/42 K/BB ratio over 98 1/3 innings at Triple-A Fresno.

Burres hasn’t enjoyed much success until this point, but he’s still young enough where he could come back to try to pitch in the majors again someday. It might be worth the trip just for the sweet merch.

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.