A trio of notable players left tonight’s action early. It’s too soon to speculate in any of the situations, but all are worthy of note with the All-Star break right around the corner.
- Royals skipper Ned Yost indicated that he is fearful of a prolonged absence for Gordon, Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star reports (Twitter links). Though McCullough adds that the training staff does not believe Gordon’s groin muscle detached from the bone, the 31-year-old is said to have heard a pop from the muscle.
- The Royals may have dodged a bullet, as the team announced that star left fielder Alex Gordon was carted off with a groin strain. It appeared that his left leg buckled as he chased a ball to the wall, and Gordon’s obvious pain contributed to the impression that he may have suffered a significant leg injury. Regardless, a groin strain can itself still be rather a serious problem, and it is too early to know the long-term implications. Needless to say, any lost time from the outstanding veteran would create a significant hole in the Kansas City lineup.
- Athletics lefty Scott Kazmir left his start tonight after just three innings with triceps tightness. But after the game, he told reporters (including MLB.com’s Jane Lee, on Twitter) that the issue is “super minor” and should not cause him to miss any time. As Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reminds us, via Twitter, this is not the first time that the veteran has been forced out early from a start. And indeed, there may not be cause for concern. But the timing is obviously not great, with Kazmir shaping up to be one of the market’s more appealing rental arms.
- The Cubs’ starter this evening, Jason Hammel, also left quite early with what the team called left hamstring tightness, as John Jackson writes for ESPN.com. Chicago turned to lefty Clayton Richard, who was just added in a trade. While it’s obviously less concerning to hear of an injury of this nature than the two noted above, the Cubs will surely still proceed with caution, and Hammel will undergo an MRI, per a tweet from Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune. Chicago’s rotation is not the deepest part of its roster, and Hammel makes up a key part of an effective top three, having put up 102 2/3 innings of 2.89 ERA pitching.