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Nationals place Joe Ross on 10-day disabled list with an elbow sprain

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What started off as a triceps strain has apparently morphed into something much more serious for Nationals’ right-hander Joe Ross, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Friday with a right elbow sprain. Ross underwent an MRI arthrogram, but the team is still awaiting the full results before making any kind of projection for his return. He was removed from his last start before the All-Star break, lasting just 3 1/3 innings against the Braves before triceps soreness forced him off the mound.

Comments from both Ross and club manager Dusty Baker suggest that this is uncharted territory for the 24-year-old righty. He served a stint on the 60-day disabled list in 2016 with inflammation in his right shoulder, but hasn’t fallen prey to any other serious injuries to date. Despite his relative good health over the first half of the season, Ross maintained a career-worst 5.01 ERA in 73 2/3 innings, paired with a 2.4 BB/9, 8.3 SO/9 and a 5-3 record in 13 starts.

Naturally, there’s some concern that lingering elbow trouble could spell the end of the season for Ross, who told reporters that he plans on seeking a second opinion before making any decisions. A long-term replacement for Ross has not been announced yet, but the Washington Post’s Chelsea Janes and Jorge Castillo report that right-hander Jacob Turner could get the nod in his place against the Angels on Tuesday.

A-Rod to join ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth

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Alex Rodriguez’s post-retirement renaissance continues apace. After starring as a studio host for Fox’s playoff coverage over the past couple of years, A-Rod is about to be named to, arguably, televised baseball’s top job: color commentary in ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth.

Michael McCarthy of The Sporting News is hearing that ESPN is going to give the gig, vacated by Aaron Boone by virtue of his hiring by the Yankees, to Rodriguez. There he’ll join Jessica Mendoza and whoever they get to replace play-by-play man Dan Shulman, who chose to step back from the Sunday night job following last season. This, by the way, marks the second time A-Rod has taken over Aaron Boone’s job given that he replaced Boone at third base for the Yankees in 2004.

The twist: A-Rod is likely to keep his Fox postseason job too. While some broadcasters work for multiple networks, it’s pretty rare for Fox to allow its talents to work for competitors like that. Apparently they believe keeping A-Rod — who five years ago was one of the most despised figures in baseball — is worth it. What a difference a few years makes.

In other news, Alex Rodriguez is likely to be shunned mightily by the current crop of BBWAA voters when he hits the Hall of Fame ballot in a couple of years. At the rate he’s going, though, their successors will put him in Cooperstown via the Ford Frick Award sometime in the 2040s.