Nationals shortstop Trea Turner suffered a fractured right index finger April 3, and though the speedster made it back in mid-May, he’s nowhere near healthy, Brittany Ghiroli of The Athletic details (subscription required). The index finger is a “swollen, disjointed mess,” per Ghiroli, whose piece includes quotes from Turner and some Nationals teammates and coaches in regards to his ability to play through it. Third baseman Anthony Rendon, who revealed to Ghiroli that Turner also broke his right middle finger, is in awe of the season he has had despite the injury. “I don’t know how he does it. When I messed up my thumb or whatever earlier in the year, you can’t even hold a bat,” said Rendon. “You don’t realize you need to use all your freaking fingers, but he can’t, which is even more impressive.” The Nationals locked up a wild-card spot Tuesday with a doubleheader sweep of the Phillies. All Turner did was collect three hits, including two doubles, in Game 1 and then belt a go-ahead grand slam in a come-from-behind victory in the evening.
- Twins outfielder Max Kepler has been dealing with left shoulder issues since Sept. 8, when he left a game against Cleveland after swinging awkwardly. The ailing Kepler hasn’t taken an at-bat in almost two weeks (Sept. 14), and it’ll be a little while longer before he does. The breakout 26-year-old is currently planning to make it back “no later than the beginning of a possible postseason series,” Do-Hyoung Park of MLB.com writes. The Twins are on the verge of clinching the AL Central, so avoiding the wild-card game will give Kepler a bit of extra time to get ready for a first-round series.
- The left hamstring strain Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong suffered last Thursday is a Grade 2 tear, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. That likely sounds worse than it is, as Wong’s hopeful he’ll be able to come back during the Cardinals’ final series of the regular season. The Redbirds are closing in on a division title thanks in part to Wong, a .285/.361/.423 hitter with 11 home runs and 24 stolen bases in 549 plate appearances. His absence has enabled Matt Carpenter to get back into the Cardinals’ everyday lineup at third base, while highly productive rookie Tommy Edman has taken over for Wong at the keystone.
- Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez is hoping to return from a groin strain this weekend, James Wagner of the New York Times tweets. That would give Sanchez a bit of time to tune up before the AL East champions’ first-round series. The slugger hasn’t played since Sept. 12, which has left New York’s catcher position to Austin Romine and Kyle Higashioka.