Brandon McCarthy diagnosed with torn ulnar collateral ligament

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Dodgers right-hander Brandon McCarthy had to leave Saturday’s start with elbow tightness and tests have revealed the worst-case scenario. Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports that McCarthy has been diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament, which means that he’s almost certainly headed for season-ending Tommy John surgery.

McCarthy turned a strong finish with the Yankees last season into a four-year, $48 million contract with the Dodgers over the winter. Some saw that as a risky deal, but his injury history has all been about his shoulder until now. McCarthy had a 5.87 ERA with nine home runs allowed over his first four starts with the Dodgers this season.

McCarthy has a torn ligament in his elbow and now has a lengthy rehab process in front of him, but at least he still has his trademark sense of humor:

We here at HardballTalk look forward to seeing McCarthy back to full strength next season.

The Dodgers are also without Hyun-Jin Ryu at the moment and it’s hard to count on Brett Anderson to stay healthy, so the back-end of their rotation has some big questions. Scott Baker made a spot-start against the Padres yesterday and Joe Wieland and Zach Lee linger as alternatives. Similar to the Cardinals, they could eventually look to the trade market, with Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels a logical possibility.

Phillies COVID testing reports no new positives

Phillies COVID testing
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Phillies COVID testing results revealed no new positives for the fourth straight day, the team announced this morning. As a result, they will resume their schedule tonight against the Yankees.

It’ll be the first game for the Phillies since last Sunday’s game against the Marlins. The Miami outbreak prompted the Phillies’ season to be shut down, but the lack of positive tests beyond team staff that had more direct contact with the visiting Marlins is an encouraging sign. The Phillies COVID testing strongly suggests that cross-team infection from on-the-field activity is not a significant problem. This could bode well for, say, the Brewers, who have been idled a few days due to the outbreak emerging on their would-be opponents this past weekend, the St. Louis Cardinals.

All of this, of course, puts the Phillies well behind their usual schedule. They’ve played just three games and have had minimal baseball activity in the past eight days. Whether that shows up in the performances of Jake Arrieta and Aaron Nola, tonight and tomorrow night’s starters, respectively, will be worth watching.

All in all, though, the Phillies COVID testing results are good news. And folks, we could use some good news right now.

UPDATE: The Marlins are negative too: