All posts by phnseo

Nationals’ Strickland injured in weight room mishap

The Nationals bullpen got a little thinner on Sunday when closer Sean Doolittle was placed on the Injured List with right knee tendinitis.

On Tuesday, the unit almost had another pitcher endure an IL-needing injury, as recently-acquired relief pitcher Hunter Strickland nearly injured himself in a weight room accident in Pittsburgh just hours prior to the Nationals matchup with the Pirates.

Strickland had a bar strike the right side of his face, according to manager Dave Martinez, the Washington Post reported. When seen walking in the clubhouse, the reliever had a stripped band-aid on his nose to couple with a very red face.

Strickland posted a picture of himself on Instagram, suggesting that he had broken his nose after getting mixed up with a barbell. According to The Washington Post, Strickland was seen in the clubhouse with a bandaged nose moments before the picture went live on social media.

“Broke nose never killed anyone. We have a playoff push so let’s keep it going @nationals This team is special!,” he wrote. “Side note: barbell=1 me=0.”

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He underwent X-rays at PNC Park, and they confirmed that Strickland suffered a broken nose.

Earlier this season Nationals ace Max Scherzer bunted a pitch into his face during batting practice and suffered a broken nose. He was able to make his scheduled start the very next day, albeit with a black eye. From the sound of things, Strickland will be the second Nationals pitcher this year on the mound with a shiner.

Strickland, 30, signed a one-year contract with the Mariners this past offseason, but made only four appearances with the team around a lat injury. He was traded to the Nationals last month and they can retain him next year as an arbitration-eligible player.

Strickland did not pitch in the 4-1 loss, but manager Dave Martinez told reporters after the game that Strickland was available if they needed him. He should not have to be placed on the injury list, Martinez said.

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Chargers bring back veteran WR Inman

The Chargers and free-agent wide receiver Dontrelle Inman are headed toward a reunion.

Inman plans to sign with the Chargers, a source confirmed to the Southern California News Group on Tuesday. NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport was first to report Inman’s return.

Inman, 30, had his best years with the Chargers from 2014 to 2017. His best statistical season was in 2016 when he recorded 58 receptions for 810 yards and four touchdowns.

Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers played a big part in why the sought-after free agent decided to return. Inman and Rivers have texted often the past couple days, according to the source.

Inman reportedly had a visit with the Detroit Lions and a contract offer from the New York Jets.

Inman was released by the New England Patriots on Sunday. He reportedly requested his release. The Patriots had a logjam at the receiver position after Josh Gordon was reinstated by the league. Inman spent the 2018 season with the Indianapolis Colts, recording 28 catches for 304 yards and three touchdowns. The Chargers’ interest in the six-year veteran comes as a surprise, considering the team’s depth at wide receiver. They’re led by the trio of Keenan Allen, Mike Williams and Travis Benjamin.

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Wide receivers Artavis Scott and Andre Patton are also in the mix to make the Chargers’ 53-man roster. The Chargers are high on the two fringe players, but they were hoping one would separate from the pack during training camp. Patton helped his case by scoring a 24-yard touchdown in Sunday’s preseason game against the New Orleans Saints.

Adding Inman could be an insurance move with Allen hobbled by an ankle injury. Allen is also nursing a right knee injury, but ESPN reported that he is expected to be available for the regular-season opener against the Indianapolis Colts on Sept. 8. Allen, however, did participate in Tuesday’s light practice.

Inman’s ability to play as a slot receiver might have caught the attention of the Chargers. Williams, the team’s No. 2 wideout, is a big-body receiver best utilized on the outside, and Benjamin also excels on the outside with his speed. Now, the Chargers and Rivers have another proven veteran to move the chains from the slot position along with Allen, the Chargers’ most versatile receiver.

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Yankees Rosenthal reach minors deal

The New York Yankees have become the latest team to attempt to revive the career of reliever Trevor Rosenthal, reaching a minor league deal with the former All-Star, sources told ESPN’s Buster Olney, confirming multiple reports.

After missing all of last season while recovering from Tommy John surgery, Rosenthal signed a deal with the Nationals that could have been worth up to $30 million over two years.

But Rosenthal struggled with Washington, going 0-1 with a 22.74 ERA in 12 games before being released on June 23. The right-hander joined the Tigers six days later on a minor league deal and returned to the majors with Detroit on July 15.

Rosenthal also struggled with the Tigers, however, posting a 7.00 ERA in 10 appearances before being released Aug. 11. He has allowed 23 earned runs, 11 hits and 26 walks in 15 1/3 innings combined this season with Washington and Detroit. The 29-year-old had 121 saves in six seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals from 2012 to 2017 and was an All-Star in 2015. He underwent Tommy John surgery in 2017.

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Rosenthal is the latest veteran reliever added after the July 31 trade deadline by the Yankees, who also have signed right-hander David Hernandez and claimed right-hander Ryan Dull off waivers from the Giants in the past week.

The Yankees have really nothing to lose with the addition of Rosenthal. If he somehow turns it around, he’ll give them another option for a bullpen that is already loaded.

Rosenthal’s best season came in 2015, when he saved 48 games for the Cardinals, had a 2.10 ERA, and struck out 83 batters in 68.2 innings.

If Rosenthal can simply bring his walks down to an acceptable level, the Yankees could have an intriguing piece on their hands — whether he only helps out in September or is called up early enough to be eligible for the postseason.

In order for Rosenthal to be eligible for the postseason roster, he will have to be promoted to the majors before Sept. 1.

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Patriots release P Ryan Allen

Veteran punter Ryan Allen, who was one of the unsung performers in the New England Patriots’ victory over the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII, has been informed that the club is releasing him, a source confirmed.

Rookie Jake Bailey of Stanford, whom the Patriots traded up to select in the fifth round (163rd overall), will take over the job Allen had held since 2013.

The selection of Bailey created longer odds for Allen to stick, even though he had one of the best performances of his career in the Super Bowl.

An adept directional punter whose control helped offset a lack of power, Allen had five punts for 215 yards in the Super Bowl, with three punts downed inside the 10. In a 13-3 victory in which field position was critical, Allen was a legitimate consideration for MVP honors. The Super Bowl was played indoors, which also played to Allen’s strengths.

The Patriots have a notable history of left-footed punters under coach Bill Belichick, including Ken Walter, Josh Miller, Chris Hanson, Zoltan Mesko and Allen, all of whom have excelled at situational and directional punting.

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Now the right-footed Bailey breaks the mold. He was considered one of the most powerful punters in this year’s draft. He also projects to serve as the holder on field goals, a role Allen filled.

Despite his standout performance during the Super Bowl, Allen inked a modest one-year extension with New England this past offseason. The veteran reportedly turned down multiyear offers, as he was looking to boost his value in time for next offseason. Allen will now have to find that one-year, prove-it deal elsewhere.

Allen joined New England as a 2013 undrafted free agent out of Louisiana Tech, and he proceeded to play in every game for the Patriots during his six-year stint. The 29-year-old won three Super Bowls during his time with New England, including a Super Bowl LIII performance where he placed three of his five punts inside the 20.

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Giants’ Shepard will be OK for week 1

Although Sterling Shepard hasn’t played yet this preseason because of a fractured thumb, the New York Giants receiver is expected to be ready for Week 1.

“We believe so, yeah. Absolutely,” head coach Pat Shurmur said Sunday, per ESPN.

“It’s actually healed up pretty fast and … I’m feeling good,” Shepard said, per Zach Braziller of the New York Post. “I wouldn’t say I’m all the way back, but I’m pretty close. I’m where I need to be. I feel good about that.”

The 26-year-old initially suffered the thumb injury on the first day of training camp, putting the start of the season in jeopardy. He has been practicing with the team, but he has been wearing a splint and a non-contact jersey. Per Braziller, he was finally able to shed the non-contact jersey for Sunday’s practice, indicating he is close to a return to live action. However, he is still not likely to play in the team’s Week 3 preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

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The good news is the team expects him back for the Sept. 8 season opener against the Dallas Cowboys, when the games actually count.

The fourth-year player is expected to take on a major role in the Giants offense this season with Odell Beckham Jr. now with the Cleveland Browns. Shepard finished last season second on the team with 872 receiving yards on 66 catches, one year after leading the squad with 731 receiving yards.

While New York added Golden Tate to take some pressure off, the veteran will miss the first four games after violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs. If Shepard also missed the start of the year, the Giants would have to look further down the depth chart to Bennie Fowler and Cody Latimer as the team’s No. 1 option. For a team that is coming off a 5-11 campaign in 2018, this isn’t an ideal situation to start the season.

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Seahawks rookie WR Metcalf set for knee surgery

Seattle Seahawks wide receiver D.K. Metcalf will have minor knee surgery in an early setback for an offence counting on the second-round draft pick.

Metcalf was held out of Sunday’s preseason game at Minnesota, and coach Pete Carroll said the rookie from Mississippi probably would have a procedure on Tuesday. The injury was discovered earlier this week, but Carroll said the team believes it will not “derail him for long.” But he does have to have some work done, and we’ll know more about that when we get back into town.”

Carroll said doctors have said a quick recovery from surgery was expected after looking at the results of an MRI, though he did not provide specifics on the nature of the injury. After taking a surprise tumble down the draft board, Metcalf landed in Seattle with the 64th overall selection.

With the retirement of Doug Baldwin, there’s an opportunity for Metcalf to figure prominently in the passing game for five-time Pro Bowl quarterback Russell Wilson. Metcalf was targeted four times last week in the exhibition game against Denver and had one catch for 8 yards.

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If Metcalf is unavailable for Seattle’s Sept. 9 regular-season opener against the Bengals, Jaron Brown and David Moore would be the most likely candidates to start alongside No. 1 receiver Tyler Lockett.

The Seahawks are already without defensive end L.J. Collier, their first-round pick, because of a sprained ankle that could keep him sidelined for the rest of the preseason, if not longer. That means Seattle’s top three picks this year — Collier, Blair and Metcalf — are all dealing with injuries.

Lynch replaced Wilson (6 of 9, 82 yards) on Seattle’s third possession Sunday. He was 6 of 15 for 67 yards and a near interception while playing behind a shaky offensive line before Hill’s hit sent him to the sideline. J.T. Barrett took over for the final four minutes and went 0 for 3 with an interception.

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Patterson, Clippers agree to 1 year deal

The Los Angeles Clippers round out their bench on Thursday, signing veteran big man Patrick Patterson to a one-year, $2.3 million deal, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. 

Patterson, 30, averaged 3.6 points and 2.3 rebounds in 13.7 minutes per game with the Oklahoma City Thunder last season, appearing in 63 games (five starts). He agreed to a buyout with the Thunder earlier in August.

Patterson doesn’t fill the team’s need of adding another pure center to the mix alongside Ivica Zubac. Montrezl Harrell and JaMychal Green can also play the position in smaller lineups, though having another bruising, rim-defending option at the position would be optimal.

The Clippers aren’t flawless, but they are loaded. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are arguably the best superstar duo in the league, and at the very least is on the same level as LeBron James and Anthony Davis. But where the Clippers hold the advantage over the Lakers is in the supporting casts, with Harrell, Lou Williams, Patrick Beverley, Landry Shamet, Maurice Harkless and Zubac representing a deep group. 

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That gulf between the two Los Angeles teams in the quality depth department only deepened on Thursday, with the Clippers adding Patterson and the Lakers likely losing DeMarcus Cousins for the season with a torn ACL, per Wojnarowski.

Granted, it’s unlikely Patterson will play major minutes for the Clippers next season. But he gives Doc Rivers another chess piece to work with, and his ability to stretch the floor from the 4—he’s a career 36.7 percent shooter from three—is always valuable. 

In an offseason of huge moves for the Clippers, Patterson’s addition doesn’t move the needle in a major way. But he’s another nice veteran piece for a Clippers team that looks to have the most talented roster in the NBA.

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Cardinals CB Alford suffers tibia fracture

Arizona Cardinals cornerback Robert Alford has a fractured tibia after he was injured during an outdoor practice Tuesday, a source confirmed to ESPN.

A source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that Alford is expected to be sidelined for six to eight weeks.

After Arizona’s 33-26 preseason loss to the Oakland Raiders on Thursday night, coach Kliff Kingsbury described the injury as being to Alford’s lower leg and said he would miss an “extended amount of time.”

NFL Network first reported the nature of Alford’s injury.

Alford’s absence leaves the Cardinals extremely short-handed at cornerback to start the season. Alford was expected to start opposite eight-time Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson, but Peterson was suspended the first six games of the regular season for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs. Alford could be back right around the time Peterson is eligible to return for the Cardinals’ Week 7 game against the New York Giants. In the meantime, it’s likely that rookie Byron Murphy and Tramaine Brock will be the Cardinals’ starting cornerbacks in Week 1 against the visiting Detroit Lions.

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The 30-year-old Alford signed a three-year contract worth $22.5 million with Arizona in February.

Alford has tallied 10 interceptions, 85 passes defended, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble during his career. He spent his first six seasons with the Falcons, who took the Southeastern Louisiana product in the second round of the 2013 NFL draft. Alford recorded 76 starts in Atlanta and was released by the Falcons this offseason with two years and $17 million left on his contract. 

While the initial timetable of two months could have Alford returning after five or six games, Rapoport suggests injured reserve could be in Alford’s future. That would mean he misses a minimum of eight weeks. Of course, if the Cardinals do place Alford on IR, it would free up a roster spot for another player. If they believe he can be ready in only five or six games, they would have to carry him on the roster.

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Pirates’ Taillon to miss ’20 season after TJ surgery

Jameson Taillon has suffered another major setback.

The Pirates’ ace underwent flexor tendon repair surgery on Tuesday, and during the procedure, it was determined Taillon also needed Tommy John surgery. Dr. David Altchek performed both surgeries in New York City.

Taillon is not projected to return to full competition until the 2021 season. Taillon, the No. 2 pick in the 2010 draft, also had Tommy John surgery in 2014.

Taillon, 27, made just seven starts this season, going 2-3 with a 4.10 ERA. Last season he went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA. In 2017, Taillon missed five weeks of the season after surgery for testicular cancer but finished the year with an 8-7 record and a 4.44 ERA. In late July, Taillon experienced a setback in his return from his right elbow flexor tendon strain. Throwing from 90 feet, he began to feel pain again, and his throwing program got halted.

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Pirates director of sports medicine Todd Tomczyk addressed reporters in Anaheim via conference Wednesday. He shed some light on why the team waited so long for the flexor tendon repair surgery since it revealed that Taillon needed the Tommy John procedure.

“You always want to avoid surgery,” Tomczyk said. “Numerous experts around the country examined him. These are surgeons that have seen the most amount of forearm and elbow injuries. The surgeons all collaborated in their examinations and reviewed the images several times. The recommendations were to continue with conservative care.”

The visiting clubhouse was noticeably quiet at Angel Stadium as several players processed the news on Taillon.

Not having Taillon is a bitter pill for the Pirates to swallow. But they can’t dwell on it. Searage realizes that. “We move on,” Searage said. “The next guy has to step up. Somebody is going to an opportunity to see if they can help us get to where we want to go.”

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Padres beat Rays for 1st time since 2010

The Tampa Bay Rays finally fell in San Diego, though they didn’t dwell too much on their loss.

It’s hard to be down when the rest of their road trip was perfect.

”If you go 5-1 on the road you have to be happy with that,” the Rays’ Tommy Pham said. ”Now we have to take that same effort home and play some great baseball.”

Cal Quantrill contributed with his arm and bat as the Padres beat Tampa Bay for the first time in over nine years, topping the Rays 7-2 on Wednesday.

San Diego had lost nine in a row to the Rays overall since June 23, 2010, in an interleague matchup that hasn’t occurred too often.

The Padres also posted their first home win over Tampa Bay – they were 0-3 against the Rays in 2004 when Petco Park opened, and had dropped the first two games of this series. ”These are two teams that don’t see much of each other, so overall I’m really pleased with the way we played,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. ”Going 5-1 on the road is the kind of ball we expect to play.”

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Eric Hosmer homered to help San Diego stop a three-game losing streak. Tampa Bay had won five in row, along with nine straight on the road.

”We still believe this team has a chance at the postseason,” Hosmer said of the Padres, who have upcoming series against Philadelphia and Cincinnati. ”Now we’re going up against teams where it matters and that kind of gets us all fired up.”

Quantrill (6-3) gave up a two-run homer to Pham in the first inning, but little else before leaving with one out in the sixth. He allowed three hits and walked one, striking out six.

After an off day Thursday, RHP Chris Paddack (7-5, 3.26 ERA) is expected to start for the Padres when they begin a six-game road trip Friday in Philadelphia. Paddock had no-decisions in his previous two starts while allowing nine earned runs in 10 innings.

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