The latest on some developing injury situations from around baseball…
- Bryce Harper is day-to-day with a thumb injury, and the Nationals star outfielder will undergo x-rays tomorrow to determine the extent of the problem. The injury, suffered on an awkward slide into third base, forced Harper to leave after the third inning of today’s 10-7 Washington win over the Pirates. Harper “didn’t sound especially worried” (in the words of MASNsports.com’s Mark Zuckerman) when discussing the injury with media after the game. The Nationals has already clinched the NL East and know they’ll be facing the Dodgers in the NLDS, so while homefield advantage has yet to be determined, the Nats would probably feel safe in sitting Harper to rest his injury (assuming it isn’t overly serious) for the last week of the regular season.
- Shin-Soo Choo will begin three days of play in the Instructional League to see if he can be ready to return to the Rangers in time for the postseason, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan writes. Choo is rather surprisingly close to getting back in action after suffering a fractured left forearm in mid-August, and if all goes well, the outfielder believes he could return to the Texas lineup on Friday for the beginning of a season-ending series against the Rays. Plans could quickly change, of course, if Choo has a setback or if he doesn’t look sharp in his very limited rehab assignment. Sullivan notes that Choo’s situation is one of many postseason roster questions for the Rangers, as the club is also undecided about whether Jeremy Jeffress, Tony Barnette or Derek Holland will be in the bullpen for the ALDS.
- Sonny Gray will make one more start in 2016, albeit an abbreviated one. Athletics manager Bob Melvin told reporters (including MLB.com’s Jane Lee) that Gray will be on a limited pitch count when he starts Wednesday’s game against the Angels, and Ross Detwiler will step in after Gray tosses an inning or two. Gray has been on the DL since early August due to a right forearm strain, the second extended DL stint of what has been a disappointing season for the A’s ace righty. In 116 innings, Gray has posted a career-worst 5.74 ERA.
- Athletics righty J.B. Wendelken will get a second opinion about whether he needs Tommy John surgery or not, John Hickey of the Bay Area News Group reports (Twitter link), though the odds are “not optimistic” that Wendelken can avoid the procedure. Wendelken made his MLB debut this season, posting a 9.95 ERA over 12 2/3 relief innings for the A’s. Going by the usual recovery timeline for TJ patients, Wendelken will be sidelined until the beginning of the 2018 season.