Brett Anderson leaves game with strained right trapezius

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According to the A’s official Twitter feed, left-hander Brett Anderson was diagnosed with a strained right trapezius muscle Sunday after making an early exit from his Cactus League start against the D’Backs.

Anderson collided with the Snakes’ Adam Eaton around the third base bag in the first inning. He wound up throwing only eight pitches, yielding one hit and two runs (though just one was earned).

The talented 25-year-old southpaw will probably skip his next turn in Oakland’s spring rotation but that wouldn’t necessarily rule him out for his scheduled Opening Day start — April 1 — against the Mariners.

The trapezius muscle extends down from the neck to the middle of the back. It’s on his non-throwing side, so he should be able to resume light mound work within a week or so. The A’s will reevaluate him on Monday.

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UPDATE, 5:21 PM: Anderson downplayed the injury when he spoke to reporters in the clubhouse, according to MLB.com’s Tyler Emerick. It just spazzed up on me,” said Anderson. “It’s not something I’m too worried about.” Anderson is considered day-to-day.

The Cubs will try to clinch the NL Central on Tuesday

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The Cubs soundly defeated the Cardinals on Monday night, 10-2, sending their magic number down to one. They will try to clinch the NL Central on Tuesday with another win against the Cardinals. Alternatively, if they lose, they can still clinch if the Brewers also lose on Tuesday.

The Cubs, of course, won the Central last year en route to winning their first World Series since 1908. It wasn’t nearly as easy this year as the club was below .500 entering June and was exactly at .500 entering July. A 16-8 July, 17-12 August, and 15-8 September have helped put the Cubs back in position to return to the postseason.

Not to be forgotten, the Cardinals were eliminated from NL Central contention with Monday’s loss. Now they have their sights set on the second NL Wild Card slot and currently trail the Rockies in that race.

The matchups for Tuesday’s action:

Carter Capps to undergo surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome

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Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune reports that Padres pitcher Carter Capps will undergo surgery this offseason to address thoracic outlet syndrome, which doctors believe caused the right-hander’s blood clots. The Padres hope to have him ready by spring training next year.

Capps, 27, underwent Tommy John surgery last year and didn’t debut this season until August 7. He made 11 relief appearances, yielding nine runs on 12 hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings. He went back on the DL on September 12 due to the blood clot issue.

The Padres acquired Capps from the Marlins last July in the Andrew Cashner trade which ended up having a lot of moving parts. Capps will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility this offseason. It’s quite possible the Padres choose to non-tender him.