Giancarlo Stanton now doubtful to return Friday

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Giancarlo Stanton had been aiming to return to the Marlins’ active roster this Friday night for the start of a three-game series against the National League East-leading Mets, but he told reporters that he didn’t feel 100 percent after his minor league rehab debut on Tuesday afternoon with High-A Jupiter.

MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro says it’s now doubtful the slugger will be able to follow through on his plan.

Stanton has been on the disabled list since June 27 because of a broken hamate bone in his right hand. He had surgery on June 28. There’s really no reason for the 53-79 Marlins to rush him back before he feels like he’s at full strength.

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.