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Sunday, April 21, 2019

Baseball

Aaron Judge leaves game with oblique injury

Aaron Judge

The New York Yankees cannot catch a break on the injury front.

On Saturday, outfielder Aaron Judge left the game against the Kansas City Royals, and was in visible pain after taking a swing in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Judge was taken to the hospital with an oblique injury, according to the team, and will require an MRI.

The Yankees have been hit with a lot of injuries to start the season, and some of them have been slow in healing. Obliques can be nagging and keep guys out for several weeks, so the Yankees will be desperately hoping this is on the less severe end of the scale.

Pete Alonso hits towering HR after begging to be in lineup to face college foe

Pete Alonso

New York Mets rookie Pete Alonso is becoming a fan favorite, and the competitive edge he displayed on Sunday is a great example of why that is happening so quickly.

Alonso was hit on the hand with a pitch during Saturday’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals, and it was assumed he would get an off day on Sunday even after X-rays came back negative. However, he practically begged Mets managed Mickey Callaway to be in the lineup so he could face Cardinals starting pitcher Dakota Hudson, who was a rival in college.

Mets fans were happy to hear that Alonso forced his way into the lineup, and they were even more pleased when he smashed a 444-foot home run off Hudson.

Alonso played at Florida and Hudson at Mississippi State, so that explains why there is no love lost between the two.

Alonso already has eight homers on the season, and Sunday’s moonshot wasn’t even his longest of the year. The 24-year-old is one of the most exciting young players in baseball, so stories like Sunday’s will only help him gain popularity.

Athletics troll Warriors with ad touting Khris Davis extension

The Oakland Athletics took the opportunity to troll their neighbors after locking down a key player.

The Athletics locked down outfielder Khris Davis on a two-year contract extension this week. It’s big news for an organization that has, at times, struggled to retain their key players.

It also gave them the opportunity to troll the Golden State Warriors, which they did in a full-page ad in Friday’s San Francisco Chronicle.

The joke, of course, is that Warriors star Kevin Durant’s future is very much not settled. It’s not often that the Athletics can claim a move like this, especially with the joke being at Golden State’s expense. They might as well take the opportunity to engage in some friendly prodding.

Report: Giants could trade Madison Bumgarner closer to trade deadline

The San Francisco Giants have stumbled out of the gate in 2019, and they don’t have the look of a contender in the early stages of a season. That could lead to serious moves if it keeps up.

According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, Madison Bumgarner is one name that could be available closer to the July 31 trade deadline assuming the Giants don’t turn things around. Reliever Will Smith is also considered a potential July trade candidate, while the team is willing to discuss some of its veteran relievers already.

Bumgarner trade rumors have lingered for much of the offseason. Nothing came of it then, but Bumgarner’s contract is up at the end of the season, and if the team isn’t going anywhere, they’ll have every reason to explore the possibilities.

Watch: Alex Rodriguez calls Josh Donaldson ‘John’ on Sunday Night Baseball

Alex Rodriguez

The Alex Rodriguez Sunday Night Baseball experience remains a mixed bag.

During this week’s featured game between the Cleveland Indians and the Atlanta Braves on ESPN, Braves third baseman Josh Donaldson stole the show with three hits, including two homers and four RBIs in an eventual 11-5 win for his team. Unfortunately, that didn’t stop Rodriguez, who was working the contest, from referring to him as “John Donaldson.” Take a listen:

For Donaldson, a nine-year MLB veteran with three All-Star appearances and an MVP Award in his bag, you would think that people might watch how they speak on his name. Then again, Rodriguez, himself a former All-Star and MVP who played at Donaldson’s position, probably doesn’t care about any of that.

Regardless, A-Rod has had some less-than-flattering moments in the booth, and you can now add Sunday’s slip of the tongue to his lowlights reel.

Jacob deGrom returning to New York for MRI on elbow

Jacob deGrom

It may end up being nothing serious, but the New York Mets are a little bit worried about their ace pitcher.

Mets manager Mickey Callaway announced Friday that pitcher Jacob deGrom is returning to New York for an MRI on his elbow, which was characterized as “barking” after playing catch.

deGrom simply has not looked like himself in his last two starts. The Minnesota Twins hit three home runs off him while putting up six runs in four innings, followed by the Atlanta Braves putting up three runs in five innings with two home runs of their own.

deGrom signed a big new contract just before the start of the season. They’ll be desperately hoping this is a minor thing and not the sign of something more serious.

Look: Shohei Ohtani wears large robot-like brace while running bases

Shohei Ohtani

Shohei Ohtani appears to have gotten an upgrade to his operating system.

The Los Angeles Angels star took the field Saturday sporting a large protective brace on his right elbow that made him look cyborg-like. Maria Torres of the LA Times shared video, which included Ohtani briefly running the bases.

After a meteoric debut MLB season catapulted the two-way sensation Ohtani to AL Rookie of the Year honors in 2018, he underwent Tommy John surgery last October to repair a UCL injury to that right throwing elbow. While he will not return as a pitcher until at least 2020, the 24-year-old could be back in the Angels lineup as a batter as soon as next month.

Giant braces notwithstanding, Ohtani seems to be progressing well, especially if the missile that he smoked in batting practice this week is any indication.