Back injury sends Travis Hafner to the disabled list again

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After missing the past three games with a back injury Travis Hafner is headed to the disabled list for the second time this season, as the Indians placed the designated hitter on the shelf and filled his roster spot with infielder Jason Donald.

Hafner spent all of June on the DL following knee surgery and has hit just .238 since returning, although he did show good power with five homers in 69 at-bats.

Hafner remains a productive hitter at age 35, sporting an OPS above .800 for the fourth straight season, but he simply can’t stay in the lineup at this point while playing 57, 94, 118, 94 and now 60 games in the past five seasons.

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.