Hunter Pence has hyperextended elbow, undergoing MRI

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According to Alyson Footer, social media director for the Astros, right fielder Hunter Pence has been scratched from Saturday night’s lineup against the Dodgers due to a hyperextended elbow.

Pence reported feeling soreness in his arm after taking batting practice and was removed from the batting order an hour or so before first pitch. Jason Bourgeois took his place and will bat second against Dodgers right-hander Rubby De La Rosa.

The Astros are calling Pence “day-to-day” and will evaluate him again before Sunday’s series finale.

The 28-year-old is batting a healthy .321/.361/.497 with nine home runs and 51 RBI in 70 games this year. He’s been one of the few bright spots in what has been a hideous first half for Houston.

UPDATE: Pence will fly back to Houston on Sunday afternoon for an MRI, according to Steve Campbell of the Houston Chronicle. It’s a precautionary exam, but also an indication that the ‘Stros are worried.

Yankees, Mariners expressing interest in J.A. Happ

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Jon Morosi of MLB Network reports that the Yankees and Mariners are both expressing interest in Blue Jays starter J.A. Happ.

Happ is posting a 3.48 ERA and a 94/25 K/BB ratio in 82.2 innings across 14 starts and has been stingy with the hits as well. Between that, the Blue Jays’ lack of contention and the fact that Happ is in the walk year of his three-year, $36 million deal, all signs point to the Jays trading them.

In normal circumstances you might not expect the Jays to make a trade with the Yankees, but at this point it sort of doesn’t matter, does it? It’s not like Happ in New York on a couple month rental will impact the 2018 Jays too much. And, given his pending free agency, it’s not extraordinarily likely that he’d haunt the Jays from the Bronx long term either.

There’s not a ton of elite pitching currently available, but as the trade deadline approaches — a little over a month to go on that score — the talk about Happ, Cole Hamels, Francisco Liriano and others will heat up. Figure the Yankees will be linked with any and all available starters.