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The Nats-Giants brawl likely ended Michael Morse’s career

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Giants’ infielder/outfielder Michael Morse is likely out for the remainder of the season, reports Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area. Morse sustained a concussion and bruised ribs following a collision with Jeff Samardzija during the infamous Hunter Strickland/Bryce Harper brawl back in May, and it appears that he has not yet made a full recovery. He’s expected to join the team on their road trip in Miami next week, but his chances of making a full comeback — in this season or any other — seem slim to none at this point.

Prior to the Memorial Day melee, Morse slashed an underwhelming .194/.250/.306 with one home run in 40 PA with San Francisco. Even before he inadvertently used his head to block Samardzija from sucker punching Harper, it looked like 2017 would be the final encore to a 13-year Major League career, one that had petered out after the 35-year-old took a six-game gig with the 2016 Pirates.

He was officially placed on the 10-day disabled list on June 8 but, as of August 11, has yet to take any kind of rehab assignment with the team. According to the Mercury News’ Andrew Baggarly, manager Bruce Bochy told reporters that he does not intend to reinstate Morse on the active roster come September, a decision that will likely bring Morse’s career to its unfortunate and unusual end. The rest of the Giants, meanwhile, are scheduled to take on the Nationals in their first meeting since that holiday weekend, and will kick off a three-game set in Washington on Friday at 7:05 ET.

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.