Michael Bourn is back from the disabled list after being sidelined since the middle of spring training with a hamstring injury and to make room for his return the Indians optioned Nyjer Morgan back to Triple-A.
Morgan was added to the Opening Day roster as Bourn’s replacement in center field and he hit .348 with a .484 on-base percentage in nine games, but it wasn’t enough to stick around in a part-time role apparently.
Bourn mostly struggled in his first season with the Indians after signing a four-year, $48 million deal and as a 31-year-old whose value comes largely from his speed and defense his hamstring issues could become a major problem. He had surgery in October and had to be shut down in mid-March.
The Reds announced earlier that they plan to extend the protective netting at Great American Ball Park in time for Opening Day next season. You can add the Padres and Mariners to what will surely be a growing list.
A young fan was struck in the face by a foul ball at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, which gave new life to the netting debate. Some fans and media types think Major League Baseball is not doing enough to protect fans. While Major League Baseball has issued guidelines for protective netting, it is ultimately up to the teams to decide just how much netting to use.
Orioles closer Zach Britton is likely done for the remainder of the 2017 season after receiving a stem cell injection in his left knee, Peter Schmuck and Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun report. Britton has been battling knee problems for most of the season.
The Orioles are still technically in the AL Wild Card race, entering play Thursday 5.5 games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card slot. With only nine games remaining, however, the 73-80 Orioles are likely being realistic about their chances and not taking any unnecessary risks with Britton.
Britton, 29, put up a 2.89 ERA with 15 saves and a 29/18 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings this season. He will be eligible for arbitration for the fourth and final time this offseason.