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.

Report: Orioles interested in Lance Lynn

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The Orioles singlehandedly kept the rumor mill churning this weekend. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the club is interested in making a play for free agent right-hander Lance Lynn, adding him to a list of potential candidates that also includes free agent righty Alex Cobb. The two are expected to command similar contracts in free agency, but Morosi notes that the Orioles may prefer Cobb based on his familiarity with the AL East.

Lynn, 30, is two years removed from Tommy John surgery on his right elbow. Despite missing the 2016 season, he bounced back with a respectable 11-8 record in 33 starts and complemented his efforts with a 3.43 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 over 186 1/3 innings for the 2017 Cardinals. He lost several days with a blister on his pitching hand in early September, but managed to avoid any major injuries and can reasonably be expected to shoulder another heavy workload in 2018.

Lynn may not be the Orioles’ first choice to beef up their starting rotation, but there’s no doubt that he’ll be in high demand as one of very few viable starters on the market this winter. The veteran righty rejected his one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Cardinals on Thursday and will likely be seeking a multi-year contract, one that Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch estimates around five years and $100+ million. If the Orioles are willing to bite that bullet, they’ll still need to compensate the Cardinals with their third pick in next year’s draft.