Red Sox’ third baseman Eduardo Nunez found himself on the wrong end of a collision with the Orioles’ Manny Machado on Friday. The two bumped into each other in the second inning, when Machado tried to beat a throw from catcher Sandy Leon and slid feet-first into second base. Machado came away from the collision no worse for wear, but Nunez was quickly removed from the game after sustaining a left wrist/thumb injury and is listed as day-to-day for the time being.
The slight silver lining: The crash didn’t appear to be intentional, which hasn’t always been the case with Machado. Rather, it looked like some combination of Leon’s wide throw to second and Nunez’s awkward fall was to blame for the injury.
Since the X-rays came back negative, the Red Sox’ third baseman isn’t expected to require a stint on the disabled list, though he’s unlikely to return to the lineup until next week. Prior to the incident, Nunez went 0-for-1 with a groundout against opposing pitcher Jeremy Hellickson. He’s batting .340/.369/.575 with six home runs and a .945 OPS since his trade from the Giants last month.
You no doubt recall that former Houston Astros manager AJ Hinch and ex-Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow were given the one-year bans and were subsequently fired in January due to the Astros sign-stealing scandal. It’s possible, however, that each of them could be back in baseball without having missed a single game.
That’s the report from Buster Olney of ESPN, who has learned that Hinch and Luhnow will become eligible in 2021 even if there are no games played in the 2020 season. The reason: Hinch and Luhnow’s suspensions are tied to “the end of the 2020 postseason.” In contrast, players who are suspended for PED offenses for violations of the league’s domestic violence policies are suspended for a set number of games. Their suspensions will not begin until games begin and, if the number of games in the 2020 season ends up being fewer than the number of games in their suspension, it will carry over to 2021.
It would not shock me a bit if another team hired Hinch at some point down the road. And, despite the league’s finding that Luhnow fostered a “toxic” environment in the Astros’ front office, I would not be at all surprised if he were hired as some sort of advisor down the road and, potentially, found himself running a team again. His tenure in Houston was discovered to be objectively awful from an ethical perspective, but (a) he won; and (b) he cut costs, and those are the two biggest priorities for most teams. Not necessarily in that order.