Giants reliever Will Smith has UCL damage

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Bad news for the San Francisco Giants. Reliever Will Smith had an MRI after coming out of a spring game with pain in his left elbow. The MRI showed some damage to his UCL. Giants GM Bobby Evans said there is concern about the integrity of the ligament.

Smith is on his way back to San Francisco for a second opinion. If it’s no better he could be facing Tommy John surgery which will sideline him for the entire season and will likely delay his 2018 by at least a couple of months.

Smith was excellent for the Giants in 26 games last season after coming over from the Milwaukee Brewers in a trade at last year’s deadline. While a lefty, he’s never been limited to a role as a lefty specialist, at least before his trade. Losing him will cost Bruce Bochy a good pitcher and a lot of flexibility.

Dodgers place pitcher Noah Syndergaard on injured list with no timetable for return

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CINCINNATI — The Los Angeles Dodgers placed pitcher Noah Syndergaard on the 15-day injured list Thursday with a blister on the index finger of his right throwing hand.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said the timetable for Syndergaard’s return is unknown despite the 15-day designation.

“The physical, the mental, the emotional part, as he’s talked about, has taken a toll on him,” Roberts said. “So, the ability to get him away from this. He left today to go back to Los Angeles to kind of get back to normalcy.”

Syndergaard allowed six runs and seven hits in three innings against the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night, raising his ERA to 7.16.

Syndergaard (1-4) has surrendered at least five runs in three straight starts.

Syndergaard has been trying to return to the player he was before Tommy John surgery sidelined him for the better part of the 2020 and 2021 seasons.

Roberts said Syndergaard will need at least “a few weeks” to both heal and get away from baseball and “reset.”

“I think searching and not being comfortable with where he was at in the moment is certainly evident in performance,” Roberts said. “So hopefully this time away will provide more clarity on who he is right now as a pitcher.

“Trying to perform when you’re searching at this level is extremely difficult. I applaud him from not running from it, but it’s still very difficult. Hopefully it can be a tale of two stories, two halves when he does come back.”