Yankees call up Austin Romine to replace Francisco Cervelli

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With Francisco Cervelli slated to miss six weeks following surgery today to repair a fractured right hand, the Yankees have recalled catcher Austin Romine to replace him on the active roster.

Romine was hitting .333 (14-for-42) with one home run and four RBI over his first 14 games this season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The 24-year-old backstop was limited to just 31 games last season due to a back injury and missed some time in 2011 to a concussion and back stiffness, so his stock has faded in recent years, but he’s finally healthy this season. He owns a .280/.334/.414 batting line and a .748 OPS over parts of seven seasons in the minors and appeared in nine games with the Yankees in 2011.

Chris Stewart is starting behind the plate today, but since he’s a .222/.285/.310 career hitter, it might not take much for Romine to play his way into a significant role.

 

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.