Mariners prospect Danny Hultzen needs a trip to see Dr. James Andrews

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Mariners prospect Danny Hultzen was on the verge of the majors when shoulder problems derailed his season and now three months later he’s still hurting.

Jacob Thorpe of MLB.com reports that the former No. 2 overall pick will seek a second opinion from Dr. James Andrews after trying to throw in the Mariners’ instructional league led to a setback. And this quote from general manager Jack Zduriencik sounds awfully ominous:

[Team doctor] Ed [Khalfayan] saw him and quite frankly doesn’t like what he sees. He has every right to have a second opinion and Ed wants him to have a second opinion. We’ve been in touch with Dr. Andrews and we’re trying to work on getting him in there on Thursday and let them look at it, and make a decision at that time.

Compare that to a few months ago, when the Mariners insisted on using words like “minor” to describe his shoulder problems.

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.