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Chi Chi Gonzalez expected to miss six weeks with UCL tear

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Rangers’ right-hander Chi Chi Gonzalez will miss the start of the season with a torn UCL in his right elbow, per a report from Stefan Stevenson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Gonzalez had been experiencing elbow soreness on Friday and was diagnosed with a partial tear shortly thereafter.

The righty could be sidelined through the first half of the season, according to the Dallas Morning News’ Evan Grant, and that’s just if he makes a full recovery after receiving a PRP injection. Should worst come to worst, Gonzalez will need to undergo Tommy John surgery, which Grant says will optimistically put his return around the All-Star break in 2018. On the bright side, Gonzalez doesn’t have a history of arm injuries, and a quote from the team physician suggests that there is a good chance that his elbow could be repaired with more conservative measures.

Should Gonzalez make a quick recovery, however, he’ll still need to prove he can improve on the 8.71 ERA and 0.0 fWAR he produced with the Rangers in 2016. Poor mechanics and control issues curtailed his performance on the big league level, keeping him to 10 1/3 innings in between stints at Triple-A Reno. He was expected to compete for a rotation spot this spring, a role that will likely land among right-handers A.J. Griffin, Dillon Gee and Mike Hauschild.

Kenley Jansen’s consecutive saves streak ends at 34

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Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen gave up three runs in the top of the ninth inning during Sunday’s game against the Braves, blowing his first save since August 26 last season. He had converted 34 consecutive saves.

Jansen yielded back-to-back singles to lead off the ninth inning, staked to a 4-1 lead. After getting two outs, Matt Adams hit a three-run home run down the right field line to knot the game at four apiece.

After Sunday’s lackluster performance, Jansen is now 24-for-25 in save chances this season with a 1.49 ERA and a 62/2 K/BB ratio in 42 1/3 innings.

Zach Britton sets American League record with 55th consecutive save

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Orioles closer Zach Britton finished Sunday’s 9-7 victory over the Astros with a scoreless ninth inning, earning his sixth save of the season. He has now earned the save in 55 consecutive opportunities dating back to September 2015, setting a new American League record. Tom Gordon previously held the record with 54 consecutive saves. Eric Gagne holds the major league record at 84.

Britton’s last blown save came on September 20, 2015, then converted two more saves before the end of the regular season. He went 47-for-47 in save chances last season and is six-for-six so far this year.

Along with his six saves, Britton has a 2.65 ERA and a 13/8 K/BB ratio in 17 innings this season. The lefty came off the disabled list earlier this month after missing two months with a strained left forearm.