Dose: Thumbs Down For HarperMonday, April 28, 2014
Bryce Harper sustained a sprained left thumb Friday, and the initial prognosis isn't promising.
"Doesn't look good," a team source told Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post in regards to the outlook for the 21-year-old.
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Harper injured the thumb sliding headfirst into third base during Friday's game, and there's concern that he may have ligament damage in the thumb. Josh Hamilton sustained ligament damage in his thumb -- also while sliding headfirst, incidentally -- and the initial timetable for his recovery was six-to-eight weeks.
The Nationals and Harper are hoping that's not the case. Harper saw a hand specialist and had an MRI taken on Saturday, and he'll receive a second opinion either Monday or Tuesday. After that exam, the severity of the injury and his timetable for a return should be known.
While the unnamed source would only say the situation doesn't look good, Nationals manager Matt Williams wasn't shy about the team's concerns with Harper's thumb.
“We fear that he’s got a really bad problem with the thumb,” Williams said. He added later, “the prognosis, we just don’t know yet.”
Adding to the concern is the fact that Harper injured the same thumb in high school. Williams said there appeared to be some laxity, or looseness of the ligaments, in the thumb. How much of that is a result of Friday's injury is yet to be determined.
In the meantime, Nate McLouth will get the lion's share of the playing time in Harper's stead. The team recalled Steven Souza Jr. to take Harper's roster spot, and he'll fill a bench role.
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Davis To DL With Strained Oblique
Harper wasn't the only -- or arguably even the biggest -- name to hit the disabled list on Sunday.
The Orioles placed first baseman Chris Davis on the 15-day DL with a strained left oblique on Sunday. Davis sustained the injury while taking an at-bat during Friday's game.
Like with Harper's injury, it's very possible that Davis will require more than the original 15 days to recover from his injury. Obliques are often slow-healing and debilitating injuries, and each injury and subsequent recovery time is unique to the individual.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter wasn't optimistic about Davis' outlook on Sunday morning.
"The normal time is more than the DL period but we'll see," Showalter said.
The club will try to get by at first base with internal options, including some non-traditional fixes. Outfielder Nick Markakis started at first base Saturday and Sunday, just his third and fourth starts at the position in his career.
Braun, Segura Ailing For Crew
A double dose of bad fortune hit the Brewers over the weekend.
Jean Segura took a bat to the face from teammate Ryan Braun during Saturday's game, an incident that left Segura with a deep gash near his right eye. Segura will require plastic surgery to repair the cut, and he's out of the Brewers' lineup indefinitely.
Braun himself then suffered a minor intercostal strain during Saturday's game that will force him to miss the next 3-5 days. Braun won't likely require a trip to the disabled list.
On Segura, the good news is that the shortstop didn't sustain a concussion as a result of the incident. He may need a few more days off to recover physically from the scary accident, but it doesn't appear to be the sort of uncertain situation some head injuries can be. Jeff Bianchi has been playing in Segura's place in recent days.
Even with the relatively good news, it's a rash of ill-timed injuries for the first-place Brewers. And with Carlos Gomez' three-game suspension still yet to be served, it could be a rough week for the Brew Crew.
National League Quick Hits: Clayton Kershaw (back) allowed one run on two hits over five innings of a rehab start Friday. The left-hander struck out six and said after the start that he was ready to return to the Dodgers. The team disagreed, and he'll make one more rehab start this week before being activated ... The Cardinals optioned Kolten Wong to Triple-A Memphis and recalled OF Randal Grichuk in two separate moves. Grichuk and infielder Greg Garcia, who was also recalled, will try to provide a spark for the struggling Cardinals offense. Both players are speculative NL-only adds, while Wong should continue to be stashed in NL-only leagues ... Two notable Pirates, Jason Grilli and Russell Martin, hit the shelf this weekend. Grilli will miss at least a few weeks with an oblique strain. Martin will miss time with a strained left hamstring. Mark Melancon, who will close for the Bucs in the meantime, should be added in even the shallowest of leagues ... Starlin Castro hit two home runs in the Cubs' win Sunday ... as did Jhonny Peralta in the Cardinals' victory over the Pirates ... Jonathan Papelbon continues to show little regard for questions of diminished velocity. The right-hander converted his eighth consecutive save opportunity in Sunday's win over the Diamondbacks.
American League Quick Hits: Ernesto Frieri is out as the Angels' closer, and Joe Smith is in. Smith should be owned in all leagues while he's got the title ... Anibal Sanchez was placed on the 15-day DL Saturday with a blister on his pitching hand. It shouldn't require more than the initial 15-day stay ... Hisashi Iwakuma (finger) threw four innings in his final rehab start on Sunday. He'll return to the Mariners for Friday's tilt with the Astros. The only thing that could stand in his way of his first win of the season is his pitch count as he continues to build stamina ... Masahiro Tanaka struck out 11 over 6 1/3 innings on Sunday, giving him 46 strikeouts in his first 35 2/3 innings of work ... Kyle Seager homered twice again on Sunday, giving him five home runs in his last four games. His second blast of the day, a three-run shot, gave the Mariners the lead and wound up being the game-winning run ... Scott Carroll, making his major league debut, earned the win Sunday. Carroll held the Rays to two runs over 7 1/3 innings ... Collin McHugh held the A's to one run over 8 2/3 innings Sunday. In two starts, the right-hander has allowed one run while striking out 19 ... All Jose Abreu has done in his first month in the big leagues is lead the world in home runs (10) and RBI (31). Many didn't know what to expect from the 27-year-old in his first go-round. Few expected this. Kudos to those who did.