Clint Barmes out 4-6 weeks with fracture in left hand

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Clint Barmes was optimistic that he only suffered a bruise after being hit on the left hand by Yankees right-hander Ivan Nova last night. However, X-rays this morning revealed a non-displaced fracture of the the fifth metacarpal bone. In layman’s terms, a broken hand.

According to Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle, Barmes will be sidelined for about 4-6 weeks.

“The good news is that they said I can stay in shape with everything, pretty much – throwing, running, all my core stuff,” said Barmes, who is righthanded. “I just can’t use my hand right now to catch the ball or swing.”

The injury to Barmes now sends the Astros scrambling for a starting shortstop. Matt Downs, Angel Sanchez, Anderson Hernandez and Oswaldo Navarro all remain in big league camp while Tommy Manzella, who was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City earlier this week, is also a possibility.

You know, the Astros’ options for shortstop might be worse than what the Marlins could have at third base to begin the season. I didn’t think that was possible.

Blue Jays clinch playoff berth with Orioles’ loss to Red Sox

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TORONTO — The Blue Jays clinched a postseason berth Thursday without taking the field.

Toronto was assured of an AL wild card berth when the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-3.

If Toronto holds its current position as the first of the AL’s three wild cards, the Blue Jays would open a best-of-three wild-card series at Rogers Centre next week.

“These guys are excited to be in this position,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said after Wednesday’s 8-3 loss to the New York Yankees. “You’ve got three really good pitchers lined up against a good Boston team, playing at home. So I think it’s more excitement more than it’s nerves or anything. I think the guys are going to come out and be ready to roll on Friday night.”

Toronto became the fourth AL team to clinch a playoff berth, joining division champions Houston, the Yankees and Cleveland. The Astros and Yankees have first-round byes.

The Blue Jays last went to the playoffs in 2020, when they were knocked out with two straight losses to Tampa Bay.

Eight of the 12 berths in the expanded postseason have been clinched: The Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis earned division titles, and Atlanta and the New York Mets are assured no worse the wild cards while still competing to win the NL East. The Dodgers have a first-round bye.