Casey Kelly undergoing tests for sore pitching elbow, could need Tommy John surgery

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Troubling news this evening out of Padres camp.

According to beat writer Corey Brock of MLB.com, top pitching prospect Casey Kelly “will have tests done” this week on his right (pitching) elbow, which has been plagued by soreness since his last Cactus League start on March 7 against the Angels.

Kelly began experiencing elbow discomfort last April and was shut down for the next three months as a precautionary measure. Tests taken throughout that period of rest ruled out any structural damage, but there is obviously something not quite right.

The 23-year-old right-hander was rated the Padres’ top prospect this winter by Baseball America and he ranked 45th on Baseball America‘s Top 100 for 2013. The future remains bright but is for now partly cloudy.

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UPDATE, 6:54 PM: Padres manager Bud Black told Brock that the “doctors are concerned what the tests look like” and said Kelly needs to talk to his family before making any further decisions. He may also get a second opinion on the elbow. It seems like Kelly is headed for Tommy John reconstructive surgery.

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.