UPDATE: Ryan Howard lifted with sprained left ankle

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UPDATE, 2:58 PM:  X-rays on both his left elbow and left ankle were negative, reports David Murphy of the Philadelphia Inquirer.  Howard will miss a few days because of the sprain, but it appears that the Phillies have avoided a major scare.

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UPDATE, 2:09 PM:  Howard’s injury is being called a left ankle sprain, according to MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki.  He will undergo X-rays to ensure that there is no serious structural damage.

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2:02 PM:  Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard had to be helped off the field Sunday after apparently injuring his left knee or ankle while running the bases in the first inning.  The scene was capture here in this photo posted by Major League Baseball’s official Twitter page.

Howard, batting .292 with an .884 OPS, 23 homers and 81 RBI, was replaced at first base by Cody Ransom.

Marlins announce signing of Victor Victor Mesa, Victor Mesa, Jr.

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The Miami Marlins have been stockpiling international bonus money of late and now that has paid off, as they just formally announced the signing of top international prospect Victor Victor Mesa.

They have also signed his brother, the less-regarded prospect Victor Mesa, Jr. It was, presumably, a package deal. Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com reports that Victor Victor, 22, will receive about $5.25 million while his 17-year-old brother gets a $1 million bonus.

Victor Victor was ranked as the No. 1 player in this year’s international signing class. He’s a plus outfield defender with a strong arm and he has serious wheels as well. He played for Matanzas in Cuba’s Serie Nacional when he was only 16 and was 3-for-7 with two doubles for Cuba during last year’s World Baseball Classic.

Victor Mesa Jr. is a switch-hitting outfielder with potential, but unlike his brother, he’s like to spend considerable time in the minors. Most scouts believe Victor Victor will debut with the Marlins as early as next season.

The Mesa brothers are the son of Victor Mesa, who played in Serie Nacional from the 1970’s into the 1990s and starred on the Cuban national team. He has also managed in Cuba, in Mexico and for Cuba’s 2017 World Baseball Classic team.