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Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Baseball

Rich Hill leaves start after one inning due to forearm tightness

Rich Hill

Rich Hill left his start on Wednesday night for the Los Angeles Dodgers against the San Francisco Giants after just one inning due to an apparent injury that the team later said was left forearm tightness.

Hill came out for warmups after the Dodgers scored three in the bottom of the first to take a 3-0 lead. After a making a throw, he felt uncomfortable and called out a trainer. He was then removed from his start and replaced by Dylan Floro.

Hill went 1-2-3 in the first, striking out two. He is 4-1 with a 2.55 ERA this season.

Hill’s health has always been his biggest enemy. Despite being in the bigs for 15 seasons, he has thrown fewer than 1,000 career innings. Since 2008, he has never thrown more than 135.2 innings in the regular season. He has a history of blister issues on his finger and was bothered by a knee injury in spring training.

The 39-year-old southpaw has been excellent when healthy and has a career 3.20 ERA with the Dodgers.

Max Scherzer pitches with black eye after breaking nose day before

Max Scherzer

Max Scherzer won’t even let a broken nose keep him from taking the mound.

The three-time Cy Young Award winner made his scheduled start on Wednesday despite breaking his nose the day before.

Scherzer was practicing bunting during the Washington Nationals’ batting practice on Tuesday and a ball deflected off his bat and hit him in the face. He ended up with a broken nose but apparently is well enough to pitch.

He made a start in the second game of a doubleheader between his Nationals and the Philadelphia Phillies, and was his usual dominant self early in the game, throwing four scoreless innings.

The area under his right eye was showing the effects from the damage:

That just made him look even more intimidating.

Scherzer entered the game 5-5 with a 2.81 ERA and NL-best 136 strikeouts on the season.

Prosecutor says David Ortiz was not intended target of shooting

David Ortiz

David Ortiz was not the intended victim of the attempted assassination in the Dominican Republic, according to prosecutors.

Dominican Republic attorney general Jean Alain Rodriguez said Ortiz’s friend Sixto David Fernandez was the intended target of the assassination, according to WCVB. The gunman was shown a picture of the table as part of his direction and misunderstood the instructions, thinking he was supposed to target Ortiz.

11 accomplices have been arrested in the attack, though the two masterminds remain at large.

Ortiz’s attorney Jose Martinez Hoepelman responded to the news by affirming that Ortiz has no ties to any illicit activity and has not engaged in any wrongdoing.

“David Ortiz is innocent in what happened. He has no connection to illicit activities, no relationships with people who have criminal connections, nor has he violated his family values that would bring about such an incident,” Hoepelman said.

Earlier reports indicated that officials believe Ortiz was targeted over an alleged affair with a drug lord’s wife. Prosecutors are now saying he was the victim of mistaken identity.

Orioles’ Trey Mancini avoids major injury after HBP on elbow

Baltimore Orioles logo

The Baltimore Orioles managed to avoid serious injury to one of their primary trade chips on Wednesday despite a big scare.

Slugging outfielder Trey Mancini was hit on the elbow with a pitch and left Wednesday’s game against the Oakland Athletics. However, the injury is being called a contusion, which means Mancini avoided structural damage.

The Orioles have had a terrible season and don’t have a lot of pieces to use to rebuild, but Mancini is certainly one of them. He’s hitting .304 this season with 16 home runs, and has hit 24 home runs in each of the last two seasons. A serious injury to him would’ve certainly hurt his trade value.

Yankee ownership would add to luxury tax bill for right trade

New York Yankees

The New York Yankees face one of the biggest luxury tax bills in Major League Baseball, but they won’t let it stop them if they feel it necessary to make a big trade.

The Yankees are roughly $15 million shy of passing the $246 million mark in terms of payroll. If they surpassed that mark, they would be hit with a 62.5 percent luxury tax rate and see their top draft pick dropped by ten spots next year. According to owner Hal Steinbrenner, however, the Yankees would face the consequences if surpassing that threshold meant they could land a player they think could put them over the top.

“If I really felt we needed that deal, that it takes us over the top, then yes, I would,” Steinbrenner said Wednesday, via David Lennon of Newsday. “But we still have a decent amount of cushion. I’m not concerned about that. It’s a decent cushion.”

Starting pitching would seem like the most obvious upgrade for the Yankees. They could theoretically land Madison Bumgarner and remain under that threshold, but there are indications that he’s not a priority for them. It’s clear that the Yankees will look to be aggressive at the deadline, but just how aggressive remains to be seen.

Watch: Marcus Stroman called Mike Trout ‘best ever’ after getting him out

Marcus Stroman

Mike Trout and the rest of his Los Angeles Angels teammates had a tough time facing Marcus Stroman on Tuesday night, but the Toronto Blue Jays pitcher managed to let Trout know how highly he thinks of him in the middle of the game.

Stroman got Trout to fly out to the warning track en route to leading the Jays to a 3-1 win over LA, and cameras caught him telling Trout he’s the “best player ever” as the slugger made his way back to the dugout.

Stroman is one of the more animated players in baseball and can rub people the wrong way, so many thought that was his way of patronizing Trout after retiring him. However, Stroman took to Twitter after the game to reiterate that he truly does believe Trout can go down as the greatest player in MLB history.

Trout is certainly one of the best to ever do it. He’s abusing baseballs once again this season to the tune of a .294 average and absurd .462 on-base percentage and 1.092 OPS. He’s only 27, so he will certainly be in the discussion for greatest player of all time if that continues.

Stroman has gotten into it with some opponents this season, so it’s no surprise people thought he was heckling Trout. But in this case, he is probably telling the truth.

Watch: Angels closer uses bizarre leg kick to mess with Vlad Guerrero Jr

Vladimir Guerrero Jr

Vladimir Guerrero Jr has played less than 50 games in his MLB career, and opposing pitchers are already coming up with unique ways to try to get the young slugger out.

With the Toronto Blue Jays trailing 3-1 in the ninth inning Tuesday night, Los Angeles Angels closer Hansel Robles needed one final out. In order to keep Guerrero from making it a one-run game with one swing, Robles broke out a ridiculous leg kick to disrupt the 20-year-old’s timing. Vlad did not seem enthused.

Robles went with a quicker leg kick later in the at-bat, and Guerrero managed to get a good piece but flied out to right-center, ending the game.

If you’ve seen how far Guerrero can hit a baseball, it’s hard to blame Robles for thinking he needed to get creative in that situation.