Marlins activate Casey Kotchman from 60-day disabled list

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For most of his career Casey Kotchman has been viewed as a weak-hitting first baseman who’s typically one of the lesser hitters in a lineup. For the Marlins he’s damn near a savior.

Miami has activated Kotchman from the 60-day disabled list after he missed two months with a hamstring injury and he’s batting sixth tonight against the Phillies.

Kotchman hit just .229 with a .612 OPS in 133 games for the Indians last season and is a career .261 hitter with a .714 OPS that’s well below par for first baseman. However, a .714 OPS would rank third among all Marlins with at least 100 trips to the plate this season.

Jason Vargas fractured his non-pitching hand

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Mets left-hander Jason Vargas has a non-displaced fracture of the hamate bone in his right hand, the team announced Sunday. Vargas sustained the injury after taking a comebacker off of his hand on Friday and is expected to consult with a hand specialist later today as the team settles on a course of action. Comments from GM Sandy Alderson indicate that surgery is a possibility, though the left-hander may also pitch through it for the time being.

Vargas, 35, signed a two-year, $16 million pact with the team last month. He completed a four-year run with the Royals in 2017, earning his first career All-Star nomination with an 18-11 record in 32 starts and producing a 4.16 ERA, 2.9 BB/9 and 6.7 SO/9 over 179 2/3 innings. Prior to the incident, the southpaw was expected to help fill out the back end of the Mets’ Opening Day rotation.

Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News estimates that Vargas will likely miss the start of the season as he faces a two- to six-week recovery period. It’s a disappointing turn of events for a pitching staff that has been absolutely ravaged by injuries over the last couple of years.