Orioles “closely monitoring” Rockies lefty Jorge De La Rosa

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When the Rockies decide to start selling off high-priced veterans the Orioles figure to make a run at left-hander Jorge De La Rosa, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun.

Connolly reports that the Orioles “have been closely monitoring and gathering background information” on De La Rosa, who started on Opening Day for the Rockies and has posted a 4.70 ERA in 18 starts overall this season at age 33.

De La Rosa was much more effective last season and also had a very strong 2011 campaign in Colorado, but considering his age, injury history, and the $5 million or so remaining on his contract for the second half he seems unlikely to command a huge return in trade.

Baltimore came into the season with plenty of rotation depth, including top prospect Kevin Gausman at Triple-A, but Chris Tillman, Ubaldo Jimenez, Wei-Yin Chen, and Miguel Gonzalez all have ERAs above 4.00 and Bud Norris isn’t much ahead of them at 3.96. Still, for the Orioles to add a veteran starter like De La Rosa at the trade deadline there would seemingly have to be another move at play.

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.