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Caleb Smith has Grade 3 lat strain

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Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald reports that, after undergoing an MRI, Marlins starter Caleb Smith has been diagnosed with a Grade 3 strain of his left lat muscle. A Grade 3 strain is the most serious strain, which is a complete rupture of a muscle or tendon and commonly requires surgery. In other words, Smith will be out for a while.

Smith, 26, was solid over 16 starts for the Marlins, compiling a 4.19 ERA with an 88/33 K/BB ratio in 77 1/3 innings.

The Marlins don’t yet have a timetable for Smith, nor has the club announced which pitcher will take his spot in the rotation. Jarlin Garcia and Dillon Peters figure to be the top candidates.

Police are keeping reporters away from owners at the owners meetings

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The owners meetings are going on in Arlington, Texas right now and something unusual is happening: the owners are using police to shield them from reporters seeking comment.

Chandler Rome, the Astros beat writer for the Houston Chronicle, attempted to talk to Astros owner Jim Crane at the hotel in which the meetings are taking place. Which makes sense because, duh, Rome covers the Astros and, if you haven’t noticed, the Astros are in the news lately.

Here’s how it went:

This was confirmed by other reporters:

To be clear: this is a radically different way things have ever been handled at MLB meetings of any kind. Reporters — who are credentialed specifically for these meetings at this location, they’re not just showing up — approach the GMs or the owners or whoever as they walk in the public parts of the hotel in which they’re held or in the areas designated for press conferences. It’s not contentious. Usually the figures of interest will stop and talk a bit then move on. If they don’t want to talk they just keep walking, often offering apologies or an excuse about being late for something and say they’ll be available later. It’s chill as far as reporters vs. the powerful tend to go.

But apparently not today. Not at the owners meetings. Now police — who are apparently off duty on contract security, but armed and in full official uniform — are shielding The Lords of Baseball from scrutiny.

We live in interesting times.