Jason Heyward admits his sore thumb is a "real problem"

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According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Jason Heyward finally conceded that the injury to his left thumb is “a real problem.” He will sit out the next two days in order to see a hand specialist.

The thumb has bothered Heyward since late last month and it shows in his rather steep drop in production. The 20-year-old outfielder is batting just .181/.287/.245 with one home run, seven RBI and a 32/13 K/BB ratio over 94 at-bats this month.

He now has a .251/.366/.455 batting line to go along with 11 homers and 45 RBI over his first 255 at-bats in the big leagues. Still pretty impressive numbers for a rookie, but he was batting .301/.421/.596 with a 1.017 OPS on May 30. The Braves have already had some pretty dreadful luck in their outfield this season, so hopefully the injury doesn’t keep him out for long.

Tigers, Royals to play a regular season game in Omaha next year

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Major League Baseball announced today that the Kansas City Royals and the Detroit Tigers will play a regular season game in Omaha, Nebraska next year to open the festivities for the College World Series.

The game will be played on Thursday, June 13, 2019 at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha two days before the first game of the Series. It will be televised nationally by ESPN. TD Ameritrade Park has a seating capacity of 24,000, with the ability to expand to 35,000 spectators. Which, um, probably means this will be one of the larger crowds for the Royals next year if the club’s current trajectory continues.

This will be the fourth small-park, special occasion regular season game for Major League Baseball in recent years. hIn July 2016 the Atlanta Braves and the Miami Marlins played at Fort Bragg, North Carolina for service members. Last August the Pittsburgh Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals played in the inaugural Little League Classic, which took place at Bowman Field in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. There will be a second Little League Classic in Williamsport this August between the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Mets.