The Twins have released outfielder Jordan Schafer, who has been out since mid-May with a knee injury.
After a strong finish with the Twins last season, Schafer began this season as the team’s center fielder, but he struggled to the tune of a .217/.250/.261 batting line over 74 plate appearances and went 0-for-3 in stolen base attempts prior to going on the disabled list with a strained medial collateral ligament in his right knee. Surgery wasn’t necessary, but he had yet to go out on a minor league rehab assignment.
Schafer’s presence was fairly redundant for Minnesota, as Byron Buxton recently took over as the starting center fielder while Shane Robinson is in place as a backup and Aaron Hicks should eventually return from a forearm injury. There probably wouldn’t be room for him when healthy and the Twins will need a 40-man roster spot when Ervin Santana returns from his PED suspension in a couple of weeks, so it made sense to just cut him loose.
A former highly-regarded prospect with the Braves, the 29-year-old Schafer is a .228/.308/.307 hitter over 463 games in the majors.
UPDATE: Nationals manager Matt Williams said after tonight’s game that Harper was diagnosed with a mild left hamstring strain. He’s scheduled to be re-evaluated tomorrow, so we should have more clarity on the situation soon. It looked like a potentially-serious knee injury at first, so this is really good news under the circumstances.
9:26 p.m. ET: Troubling news here for the Nationals, as outfielder Bryce Harper was forced to exit tonight’s game in the top of the sixth inning with an apparent injury to his left knee.
Harper appeared to slip when he was making a throw from right field and his knee buckled in the process. It’s worth noting that there was a brief rain delay during tonight’s game, so the teams were playing on wet grass. You can watch the play here.
Harper was down on the ground for a couple of minutes before walking off the field under his own power. We’ll pass along an update when it’s made available, but hopefully it’s nothing serious. Harper previously had surgery in October of 2013 to repair the bursa sac in his left knee.
Harper has put up MVP-type numbers this season at the age of 22, batting .344/.476/.720 with 22 home runs and 53 RBI.
UPDATE: 3,000 hits will likely have to wait until tomorrow. Rodriguez came up second in the bottom of the eighth inning and was walked on four straight inside pitches by Sam Dyson, who clearly didn’t want any part of history. The disappointed fans at Yankee Stadium are letting him hear it.
9:19 p.m. ET: With his first chance at 3,000 hits, Rodriguez just lined out to right field in the bottom of the sixth inning. He could get another at-bat tonight.
8:50 p.m. ET: Rodriguez singled to left field in the bottom of the fifth inning, so he’s now just one hit away from 3,000. He should get at least one more at-bat tonight. Stay tuned.
7:34 p.m. ET: After entering tonight’s game with 2,997 career hits, Alex Rodriguez just drove in Brett Gardner with an RBI single off Mat Latos in the first inning to give the Yankees an early 1-0 lead over the Marlins. He’s now just two hits away from becoming the 29th player in MLB history to reach 3,000 hits.
Including tonight, the Yankees will play their next seven games at Yankee Stadium, so there’s a good chance he’ll reach the milestone at home. We’ll pass along updates as it happens.
Rodriguez’s former teammate, Derek Jeter, was the last player in MLB to reach 3,000 hits. He got there on July 9, 2011.
After going 4-for-5 with a triple, two RBI, and three runs scored in his first major league start last night, Cubs rookie Kyle Schwarber launched his first major league home run — a two-run shot — tonight against the Indians. Check it out below:
The Cubs called Schwarber up this week so he could serve as a DH and third catcher while the team plays in American League ballparks. The expectation is that he’ll be sent down to Triple-A Iowa after the weekend. There’s probably nothing he can do to change that, but Cubs fans are witnessing a heck of a cameo right now.
Interesting note here about Mets center fielder Juan Lagares, who suffered a right elbow sprain last September. If you have watched him at all this season, you have likely noticed that his arm isn’t nearly the weapon it has been in the past. According to Mike Vorkunov of the Newark Star-Ledger, Mets manager Terry Collins was asked about the situation today and hinted that Lagares has ligament damage in the elbow:
“There’s only a couple of things you can do,” Collins said. “One would be to have Tommy John. The other would be to rest it and then just be careful.”
It didn’t take long for the Mets to backtrack from these comments. General manager Sandy Alderson said that Tommy John surgery is not “on our radar” while describing it merely as elbow soreness. Meanwhile, Collins later clarified and said it’s something Lagares should be able to manage and play through. This might not do much to calm the paranoia of Mets fans, but here we are.
While Lagares’ arm hasn’t been the same this season, the Gold Glover can still go out and get it with them. He also extended his hitting streak to nine games tonight against the Blue Jays.