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Chase Anderson to miss 4-6 weeks with left oblique strain

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Brewers’ right-hander Chase Anderson is slated for a four- to six-week absence, MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy reported on Saturday. Anderson was diagnosed with a left oblique strain on Wednesday after striking out swinging against the Reds’ Luis Castillo. He was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Thursday, but is facing a longer recovery process after consulting with the club’s medical staff and undergoing an MRI on Friday.

Anderson, 29, was working on a career-best pitching line prior to the injury. He crafted a 2.89 ERA, 2.7 BB/9 and 8.5 SO/9 through 90 1/3 innings and held a 6-2 record in 16 starts for the Brewers. It was a welcome break from the 4.00+ ERAs of his previous three seasons, and one which might not have been possible without the newly-developed curveball and cutter in his pitch repertoire. This will be his first significant stay on the disabled list since 2015, when he missed 19 days with right triceps inflammation.

With Anderson out, the Brewers recalled right-handed reliever Jorge López from Double-A Biloxi, who will help keep the bullpen fresh while they seek a temporary fix for the rotation. Further reports from McCalvy suggest that manager Craig Counsell might switch up replacement pitchers from start to start until Anderson’s return, and he already appears to have several viable options in relievers Paolo Espiño and Josh Hader. It’s shaping up to be an interesting month for the club, which entered Saturday just two games ahead of the second-place Cubs and will need to stay sharp in order to keep their No. 1 status in the NL Central.

Kyle Schwarber narrowly escapes Alex Bregman to advance in Home Run Derby

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Cubs outfielder Kyle Schwarber thought his 16 home runs would be enough to take down Astros third baseman Alex Bregman in the first round of the 2018 Home Run Derby. He was right, but Schwarber just barely escaped Bregman.

Because Schwarber hit two home runs that went 440 feet or longer, he unlocked 30 seconds of bonus time, which proved quite necessary. Schwarber added a couple of home runs to his total before giving way to Bregman.

Bregman, who had 20 home runs in the first half, hit a lot of line drives, peppering the stands in left field with home runs. He seemed to have enough time to at least tie Schwarber as the clock ran out. With his final swing, Bregman hit a fly ball to left-center that fell about three feet shy of tying Schwarber at 16. Bregman did not hit any home runs 440 feet or longer. Alas, Bregman was eliminated.

The Schwarber-Bregman round was thrilling and tense. While the four-minute clock isn’t everybody’s cup of tea, it is undeniably what made this round so fun. If you’re not watching the Home Run Derby, you’re really missing out on some enjoyable baseball-adjacent stuff.