Let’s do it again: Angel Pagan punches something, leaves game

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San Francisco’s Angel Pagan became the second player to leave a game Monday after punching a dugout surface in frustration, joining Boston’s Ryan Sweeney.

Pagan was taken out after six innings with the Giants up 4-2 tonight, and he was missed afterwards, as the Mets went on to win a wild one 8-7 in 10 innings. Gregor Blanco went 0-for-3 after replacing Pagan in center field.

Unlike Sweeney, it appears Pagan avoided serious injury. The early word is that it’s just a bruise and that he’s day-to-day. Sweeney is expected to land on the disabled list with his injury.

Either players will start taking note and figuring out that there are better ways to take out frustration or teams are going to have to start investing in padded Gatorade coolers. Apart from touching Adrian Beltre’s head, there’s no better way to get hurt in the dugout than punching a wall.

Ketel Marte shut down with back injury

Ketel Marte
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With just over a week left in the regular season, the Diamondbacks have elected to shut down infielder/outfielder Ketel Marte. Marte has been dealing with some lower back inflammation and stiffness over the last few days; on Friday, the team revealed that he was diagnosed with a stress reaction as well.

It doesn’t look as though the injury will compromise Marte’s 2020 campaign, but as Craig noted on Wednesday, his absence will likely have some effect on his NL MVP candidacy. The 25-year-old will wrap his first All-Star season with a .329/.389/.592 batting line, 32 home runs, a .981 OPS, and a staggering, career-best 7.1 fWAR through 628 plate appearances.

Marte told reporters Thursday that the back pain had been an issue “for the past two months,” though he didn’t comment on the severity of the injury. Despite his ability to play through the pain since July, the issue has clearly escalated in the last week or so. Although the loss of their most valuable contributor may have a negative impact on the D-backs’ chances of competing in the postseason, it’s undeniably a wise move to let Marte recuperate rather than pushing him to play for another week and running the risk of further injury.

Entering Friday’s series against the Padres — their last road series of the regular season — Arizona still has a sizable gap to close in order to earn one of two NL wild card spots. They’re five games out of postseason contention, with the Nationals, Brewers, Cubs, Mets, and Phillies ahead of them.