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Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Baseball

Yu Darvish out for the season with elbow injury

Yu Darvish is done for the season.

The Chicago Cubs said on Tuesday that Darvish is out for the season with a stress reaction in his elbow.

Darvish appeared to be on his way towards a return for the Cubs but suffered an injury during a rehab start on Sunday. He left his start in Double-A after just one inning, complaining of continued elbow problems.

Darvish was signed to a six-year, $126 million deal over the offseason. The Cubs only got eight poor starts out of him this season. Chicago will hope that plenty of time off will help Darvish return to full strength next year. But at age 32 and with this elbow injury, the odds will be against him.

Nationals trading multiple players who were placed on waivers

Daniel Murphy

The Washington Nationals did not want to be sellers at the non-waiver trade deadline because they believed they could still contend for a playoff spot, but they proved on Tuesday that not all fire sales need to be held on or before July 31.

Last week, the Nationals placed a handful of players on revocable waivers. Three of them — Bryce Harper, first baseman Matt Adams and second baseman Daniel Murphy — were claimed. Of those three, two are reportedly being traded. We’ll give you a hint: the best player is the one staying put.

According to multiple reports, Murphy is being traded to the Chicago Cubs and Adams is heading to the St. Louis Cardinals

Both Murphy and Adams have been productive this season. Murphy, a 33-year-old veteran who is in his 10th MLB season, is hitting .300 with six home runs and 29 RBI. Adams, 29, is hitting .257 with 18 homers, 48 RBI and a .510 slugging percentage.

Harper said this week that he believes the Nationals are in a great spot in the standings, but the team’s front office clearly disagrees. They’re 7.5 games behind the Atlanta Braves in the NL East and 6.5 games back in the wild card, and it’s clear the towel has been thrown in.

Report: Bryce Harper claimed on revocable trade waivers

Bryce Harper

The Washington Nationals placed several players on revocable trade waivers last week, and Bryce Harper was one of them. Not surprisingly, the star outfielder was claimed by a team.

Chelsea Janes and Jorge Castillo of The Washington Post report that Harper and teammates Daniel Murphy and Matt Adams were claimed. The Nationals were informed of the claims on Sunday, meaning they have until Tuesday afternoon — the standard 48-hour window — to work out a trade with the claiming team.

Simply put, it would be a surprise if Harper went anywhere. Since Harper was claimed, all that means is the Nationals are not free to work out a trade with any team they please. They can only negotiate with the team that claimed the 25-year-old, or they can simply pull Harper back and move on with their season.

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic previously speculated that the Nationals were placing Harper on waivers to give themselves options, as they have been fading from playoff contention and chose not to be sellers at the July 31 non-waiver deadline. In theory, they could trade Harper to a team and get something in return for him now and then still try to sign him as a free agent this winter, but that seems unlikely to happen.

Judging by what he recently said about Washington’s place in the standings, Harper is not ready to give up on the 2018 season. The last thing the Nationals want to do is risk irritating him by trading him with less than two months remaining in the season.

Watch: Umpire gets in way during walk-off at Little League World Series

Umpire LLWS

A poorly-positioned umpire played a role in a walk-off win at the Little League World Series on Monday night.

Texas and Georgia were squaring off in an elimination game at Williamsport, Penn. and went to extra innings. The game was tied 6-6 in the bottom of the ninth when Georgia had runners on the corners with one out. A flyout to right allowed runner Wills Maginnis to tag up and score the winning run, but not without controversy. The umpire in right stood in the way of right fielder Matthew Hedrick trying to make a throw home.

Take a look at the positioning of the umpire down the right field line:

There’s no way to know whether Hedrick would have been able to throw out Maginnis at the plate had the umpire not been in his way. But we do know that the positioning prevented him from having his best shot at getting the out. That was a pretty disappointing example of an umpire getting in the way. Unfortunately, we’ve seen worse examples of umps trying to sabotage players.

Orioles set dubious record with latest loss

The nightmare season for Baltimore Orioles now includes a dubious record as a result of their latest loss.

The Orioles are in the midst of a season that will go down as one of the worst in franchise history. Baltimore entered play on Monday an astounding 50 games under .500 and 50.5 games out of first place in the American League East. The Orioles added another one to the loss column by falling to the Toronto Blue Jays 5-3 on Monday.

The loss was the Orioles’ 88th of the season. According to Elias Sports, Baltimore set a record for the earliest playoff contention exit in the Divisional Era.

The Orioles have been on pace for the worst season in club history for some time now, and that was before the team traded away Manny Machado, Zach Britton, Kevin Gausman and Jonathan Schoop.

With Baltimore lacking talent, the losses will continue to pile up. The result will likely be more records the franchise won’t want to highlight in their record book.

MVP Jose Altuve set to return to Astros on Tuesday

Jose Altuve

Jose Altuve is expected to return from the 10-day disabled list for the Houston Astros’ game on Tuesday.

Altuve has been out of action since late July due to soreness in his right knee. The injury caused the reigning American League MVP to land on the disabled list for the first time in his big league career. Fresh off of a rehab stint that saw Altuve record his first hit at the Triple-A level, the plan is for the Astros’ second baseman to be activated prior to Tuesday’s game.

Altuve last played on July 25. At that time, Houston had a five game lead in the AL West over the Seattle Mariners. The Astros currently have just a one game lead on the Oakland A’s, who have surpassed the Mariners. A healthy Altuve will certainly help the Astros’ chances of holding on to the top spot in their division.

Chris Archer removed from start due to leg discomfort

Chris Archer

Chris Archer was removed from his start prematurely on Monday due to leg discomfort, the Pirates said.

Archer allowed one run on five hits in four innings of work for the Pittsburgh Pirates against the Atlanta Braves. He left trailing by a run and was removed as a precaution, according to the team.

Archer went to a knee during an at-bat in the third and then was seen by a trainer prior to pitching the fourth. He pitched the inning but was removed after that.

Archer was acquired by the Pirates in a big trade deadline deal last month. He entered his start with a 5.65 ERA in three starts since joining Pittsburgh.

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