Washington Nationals v San Francisco Giants

Ryan Vogelsong fractured his pitching hand

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And he did it while batting:

Vogelsong was in the middle of easily his best start of the season when he swung at an inside pitch from Craig Stammen. The ball appeared to hit him squarely on the knuckles of his right hand, and Vogelsong was in obvious pain. He left the game and was replaced by pinch hitter Nick Noonan.

The damage: a dislocated joint in the pinky finger of his pitching hand and breaks above and below the finger. He’ll have surgery today and pins will be inserted. He’s going to be out at least six weeks.

Sadly, this came as Vogelsong was in the midst of his best start of what has been an otherwise awful season, having shut out the Nationals, allowing only three hits in five innings. Now it’s awful again.

Also awful: it looks like Chad Gaudin is the only real option to replace Vogelsong in the rotation. Barring a trade, of course.

Braves ink Blaine Boyer to a minor league deal

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 2:  Relief pitcher Blaine Boyer #48 of the Milwaukee Brewers delivers to home plate during the seventh inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on October 2, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
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The Braves have signed reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Bowman adds that the right-hander has a “good chance” to make the Braves’ bullpen out of spring training.

Boyer, 35, spent the past season with the Brewers, finishing with a 3.95 ERA and a 26/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.

Boyer, of course, started his professional baseball career with the Braves as they selected him in the third round of the 2000 draft. Since the Braves traded him in 2009, Boyer has pitched for the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, and Twins along with the Brewers.

Report: Rays nearing a deal with Shawn Tolleson

ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 18: Reliever Shawn Tolleson #37 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals in the eighth inning at Busch Stadium on June 18, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
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Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.

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Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.

Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.