Royals lose All-Star left fielder Alex Gordon for two months with groin injury

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Royals left fielder Alex Gordon was carted off the field Wednesday night with what looked like a severe groin injury and sure enough the news is bad: He’s been diagnosed with a “Grade 2-plus” strain and is expected to miss eight weeks.

That puts Gordon’s potential return date around mid-September, leaving little room to return this season if he suffers any setbacks and little room to make a big impact for the Royals even if he avoids further delays. He’ll also miss the All-Star game after being voted in as a starter for the American League.

It’s a big loss for Kansas City. Gordon is hitting .279 with 11 homers and a team-high .852 OPS and he also leads the otherwise free-swinging lineup with 39 walks. Beyond that, he’s among the best defensive outfielders in baseball and plays a big part in the Royals’ outstanding run prevention.

Jarrod Dyson can replace the great defense and will bring a lot more speed to the lineup than Gordon, but the Royals will miss his bat and patience at the plate.

Zack Wheeler will miss at least two starts when his wife gives birth

Zack Wheeler miss starts
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Per The Athletic’s Matt Gelb, Phillies starter Zack Wheeler will miss at least two starts when his wife goes into labor and gives birth to their first child, expected to be later this month. Wheeler, in fact, is not sure if he will return to play at all once their child is born.

Wheeler said, “We just have to see how things are here at the field and at the stadium. I’m happy with what I see so far. But things could change, especially once our baby’s born. I always think about what’s going on around me. Is it safe? Is it OK? Literally every single day. I have to just ask myself that. I’m going to continue to keep asking myself that every day.”

Wheeler, 30, inked a five-year, $118 million contract with the Phillies in December. He is slated for the No. 2 spot in the rotation behind Aaron Nola. Last season, with the Mets, Wheeler posted a 3.96 ERA with 195 strikeouts and 50 walks over 195 1/3 innings.

The No. 5 spot in the Phillies’ rotation is currently up for grabs between Nick Pivetta, Vince Velasquez, Ranger Suárez, and prospect Spencer Howard. One of the remaining three could fill in for Wheeler when he needs time off, temporarily or otherwise.