Category Archives: Sports

Indians’ Lonnie Chisenhall to miss 8-10 weeks with calf injury

Right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall’s strained left calf got a second look from specialist Dr. Wiemi Douoguih in Washington D.C. on Monday, and the news was about what the Cleveland Indians expected.

Chisenhall suffered a grade 3 strain of the left soleus muscle (calf). He is expected to miss 8-10 weeks.

The 29-year-old former first round pick of the Indians missed 50 games with a right calf strain from April 8 through June 4. He returned to the lineup and batted .343 with a home run, five doubles and nine RBI in 22 games. He returned to the DL July 3 after injuring his left calf.

Chisenhall missed all but 82 regular season games last year with a variety of injuries, including a shoulder strain and a concussion. He missed 45 games with a strained right calf before returning at the end of August.

Chisenhall’s injury is compounded by the fact that CF Bradley Zimmer is still out of action with a shoulder injury with no timetable for his return. The Indians have been rumored to be shopping for outfielders prior to the non-waiver trading deadline at the end of this month. They also recently brought back veteran OF Melky Cabrera to Class AAA Columbus and have been experimenting with top prospect Francisco Mejia as an outfielder at Columbus.

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Cleveland has recently been relying on Michael Brantley, Greg Allen and Tyler Naquin in the outfield, with Brandon Guyer and Rajai Davis also representing options on the big league roster.

For Chisenhall himself, the timing could scarcely be worse. He’s just months away from free agency, and in a best-case scenario, he’d have roughly four weeks to demonstrate his health to teams before the end of the season. He’s already been limited to a mere 95 PAs in 2018, and it’s now quite possible that he’ll head into free agency having played somewhere in the vicinity of 130 to 140 games combined in the two-year platform to his first trip to the open market. Given his success at the plate dating back to 2016 and the fact that he’ll be 30 years old for all of the 2019 season, Chisenhall should still find Major League offers on the market, but his stock is obviously weakened handily by what is now his third calf injury of the past calendar year.

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Posey will miss All-Star Game with injured hip

Giants catcher Buster Posey will miss the All-Star game because of a lingering right hip issue that needs an injection to calm the inflammation.

Manager Bruce Bochy made the announcement Monday before the start of a three-game series with the Chicago Cubs. The Giants had been discussing the possibility for about a month, Bochy said, and Posey is scheduled to have the injection after Sunday’s mBay Bridge Series game against Oakland.

“His situation with the hip, we’re hoping to get to the All-Star break and he will get an injection, but he’s going to need some time after that,” Bochy said. “He won’t be able to participate in the game.”

Posey began the day batting .285 with five homers and 27 RBIs in 74 games. Bochy believes the hip has affected Posey’s power.

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The 31-year-old Posey sat out two games in late May at Wrigley Field with soreness in the hip.

“It’s flared up on him. He’s missed some time because of it not too long ago,” Bochy said. “Our hope is make it through this week and we can give him three or four days to get this thing cleared up. … Hopefully with this injection get this thing to calm down and clear up. He’s been playing with it. You can tell, all of you can tell. It’s bothered him and he’s been a warrior through this. He has missed some time earlier, he missed two or three days. The break will serve him well.”

The Cardinals’ Yadier Molina was named to replace Posey on the National League roster. Cubs catcher Willson Contreras is slated to start behind the plate for the NL in the 89th Midsummer Classic. The event will be played at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, July 17, at 4:30 p.m. PT

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Pistons agree deal with Zaza Pachulia

Free-agent center Zaza Pachulia has agreed to a one-year, $2.4 million contract with the Detroit Pistons, according to multiple reports.
The Pistons will also waive backup center Eric Moreland, according to multiple reports.

The Pistons will be the sixth team for Pachulia, who played for the Golden State Warriors the past two seasons.
Last season he averaged 5.4 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 69 games. He appeared in seven playoff games, averaging 2.4 points and 1.7 rebounds as he won a second ring with the Warriors.
Pachulia has been involved in a number of incidents with players. In the 2017 playoffs, he drew the ire of San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich when he injured Kawhi Leonardby sliding underneath the Spurs star on a jump shot. And last season, the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Russell Westbrook accused Pachulia of trying to injure him when he landed on his leg in a game in February.

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In that time, the 34-year-old has been a quality interior defender and efficient post scorer who can provide balance to more perimeter-oriented teams.

While most people focused on the four All-Stars in the starting lineup, he was part of the impressive depth that helped the team bring home two straight championships.

He also showed his lack of ego during the first round of the postseason when he went from a starting player to a bench-warmer.

“It’s all about the team,” Pachulia said in April after Game 2 of the first-round playoff series against San Antonio Spurs, per Logan Murdock of the Mercury News. “JaVale is playing great. There are no worries. Playoffs are fun. Obviously, I want to play, but at the same time, we’re in a position to win two [championships] in a row.”

This mindset will be valuable going forward with an undetermined role on his new team.

Even if he doesn’t get major minutes with the Pistons, Pachulia should provide efficient play when on the court and be a useful player during the upcoming season.

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Belgium wins over Brazil, moves to semis

Since taking over as coach of the Belgian national team two years ago, Roberto Martinez has kept the focus on preparing for the next win rather than celebrating the previous one.

He briefly broke from that approach Friday after beating Brazil 2-1 in a World Cup quarterfinal in Kazan, a win that lifted Belgium into the tournament’s final four for the first time in 32 years.

It was a victory, Martinez admitted, that deserved to be savored.

“This is beating Brazil in the World Cup, in the knockout [stage],” he said. “Just treasure it and pass it down in the generations.”

It was a win over a Brazil team that had posted eight shutouts in its last nine games, including three in the four games in Russia. And one that hadn’t trailed in a match since March 2017.

Yet Belgium needed only 13 minutes to end both those streaks, taking the lead on an own goal from Fernandinho.

It was a win over a Brazil team that had given up only four shots on goal in the tournament. But by the time Belgium got its first Friday it led 2-0, scoring on Kevin De Bruyne’s right-footed laser from outside the box.

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“They were incredible; incredible heart out there,” Martinez said of this team. “Sometimes you have to accept that Brazil has got this finesse, that quality that they’re going to break you down. They didn’t accept it.

“They didn’t think for one minute that they were going to give up. And this is something special. These boys deserve to be real special people back in Belgium. I hope that everyone in Belgium is very, very proud.”

Now Belgium, unbeaten in its last 24 matches, moves on to meet France in next week’s semifinals of what has now become an all-European championship. Another win would take Belgium somewhere it has never been: in a World Cup final.

To get there will require renewed focus, said Martinez, who finished savoring the Brazil victory and began looking ahead before his brief postgame news conference had ended.

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Kyle O’Quinn agrees to 1 year deal with Pacers

Two days after signing guard Tyreke Evans, the team has agreed to terms with free agent Kyle O’Quinn, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

The Norfolk State product declined his player option to become a free agent this summer.

O’Quinn has gotten better every year since being drafted in the second round of the 2012 NBA Draft by the Orlando Magic. He became an important piece for the Knicks last year after Kristaps Porzingis went down with a season-ending injury.

After turning in the best season of his NBA career, O’Quinn declined the $4.26 million player option in his contract with the Knicks to become an unrestricted free agent.

O’Quinn set career highs across the board last season with averages of 7.1 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.3 blocks in 18.0 minutes per game, while also shooting 58.2 percent from the field.

Although his overall numbers don’t leap off the page, O’Quinn was fantastic on a per-36-minute basis with averages of 14.3 points, 12.2 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 2.5 blocks.

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The past two seasons have been O’Quinn’s best, and his production in a fairly small sample size suggests he is deserving of an even bigger role.

In six NBA seasons, O’Quinn has just 60 starts to his credit, and he has yet to appear in a playoff game.

Questions remain about how he might perform with more minutes or on a larger stage, but there is little doubt that O’Quinn is a useful player who brings versatility to a frontcourt rotation.

With Kristaps Porzingis working his way back from a knee injury, O’Quinn will be sorely missed by the Knicks, and their frontcourt could be a major weakness if Porzingis is unable to return for the start of the 2018-19 campaign.

In Indiana, he’ll give the team a solid veteran on the block in a reserve role behind players like Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis.

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Brazil’s Danilo out remainder of World Cup

The Manchester City star will play no further part in the Selecao’s campaign after damaging left ankle ligaments in training.

Danilo, 26, will however remain in Russia with the side.

He has been used just once – in the opening 1-1 draw against Switzerland – with Fagner standing in for him since.

Danilo himself came in for Dani Alves, who was ruled out of the finals with injury just weeks before the tournament began.

Former Real Madrid man Danilo appeared fit when he came through a grueling training session just two days ago.

Marcelo, who will return to action in the quarter-final clash against Belgium after recovering from a back injury brought on by a dodgy mattress, and Douglas Costa were also said to be showing good signs.

But Danilo picked up the knock during Thursday’s training session.

It is the second injury he has suffered after a dodgy hip stopped him playing in the second game against Costa Rica.

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Danilo’s Premier League counterpart Roberto Firmino has not been granted a spot in the starting XI against the Belgians.

The CBF said on its official website that a scan on the Manchester City player had confirmed a ligament injury in his left ankle that ruled him out of the tournament in Russia.

“Accompanied by the doctor of the Brazilian national team, Rodrigo Lasmar, the player performed image tests that confirmed the injury and he does not have sufficient time of recovery in the period of dispute of the World Cup.

Danilo had asked to remain with the squad and had already begun to have treatment on the injury, the CBF added.

Brazil, who are favorites to lift the World Cup for a record sixth time, face Belgium at Kazan Arena on Friday.

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Twins sign first-round pick Trevor Larnach

The Twins announced the signing of first-round draft pick Trevor Larnach on Thursday, a day before the deadline to lock in selections.

The 21-year-old outfielder from Oregon State was taken with the 20th pick in the first-year player draft on June 4. His signing came after he helped lead the Beavers to the College World Series title on June 28.

The slot value for Larnach’s deal was $3.12 million, but what he signed for was not immediately known.

The 21-year-old just completed his junior season at Oregon State University. At 6-foot-4, 210-pounds, Larnach hit .327 (70-for-214) with 13 doubles, 17 home runs and 65 RBI in 58 games for the Beavers this season. In three seasons at OSU he combined to hit .298 (138-for-463) with 30 doubles, 20 home runs and 116 RBI in 146 games. He went on to hit .417 (15-for-36) with five doubles, one triple, one home run, nine RBI and 10 runs scored in eight games during the 2018 College World Series, leading the Beavers to the title.

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In 2017, Larnach was named an All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention, Pac-12 All-Academic Honorable Mention and named to the Corvallis Regional All-Tournament Team. A graduate of College Park High School in Pleasant Hill, CA, Larnach was named a First-Team All-State and All-League as a junior and senior, and was rated No. 328 nationally among high school prospects by Perfect Game. Larnach was originally selected by San Diego in the 40th round of the 2015 First-Year Player Draft but did not sign.

He will begin his pro career with Elizabethton, the Twins team in the Appalachian League (Rookie-Level).

Larnach, an outfielder out of Oregon State, certainly seems prepared to take a modern approach to baseball, as Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer-Press writes. Noted for his lofty exit velocity as a collegian, Larnach says he’s “well aware” of the latest means of measuring the game. He also suggested that he’ll be a grinder as a pro, saying that he has “been working my tail off ever since high school” and is “not done yet.”

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Cavs sign Collin Sexton to rookie contract

Collin Sexton badly wanted to play with LeBron James. His first season will be much different than he hoped.

Sexton signed his rookie contract on Wednesday with the Cleveland Cavaliers, who are taking their first steps since James announced he’s leaving to sign a four-year, $154 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers.

When the Cavs drafted Sexton with the No. 8 pick last month, the Alabama guard instantly pleaded with James to re-sign with the Cavs.

“LeBron, let’s do it,” Sexton said in a TV interview moments after he was picked. “I’ve seen you needed a few extra pieces this past season, and let’s do it. Let’s go back to the Finals.”

For now, Sexton will have to settle for a four-year contract that could be worth $20.2 million over its length. Per NBA rules, Sexton can make a maximum of $4.1 million next season. The value is based on where he was selected. His contract is guaranteed for two years, with the Cavs holding options for the last two years.

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Cleveland made the announcement on Wednesday, a holiday treat for the team’s fans still grappling with their emotions after James left for the second time in eight years.

The team is hoping Sexton can help them recover from losing James, who led the Cavs to four straight NBA Finals and a championship in 2016. Sexton averaged 19.2 points as a freshman and played his best in big games, leading the Crimson Tide to its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2012.

Sexton will wear No. 2, Irving’s jersey number with Cleveland.

Sexton is on Cleveland’s summer league roster and is expected to play in games in Las Vegas later this week.

“We’re going to invest a lot of time into him and he’s a part of this culture now of winning, of hard work, attitude, the stuff we talk about,” Cavs general manager Koby Altman said of Sexton during Sexton’s introductory news conference last month.

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Yankees put Gleyber Torres on DL with Hip strain

Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres was placed on the 10-day disabled list Wednesday afternoon after an MRI revealed he had a right hip strain.

New York is officially beginning the DL stint during its off day Thursday, as team officials continue to talk through making a corresponding roster move ahead of a three-city road trip the Yankees are heading on beginning Friday in Toronto.

The injury, which forced Torres out of Wednesday’s 6-2 win over the Atlanta Braves, was initially believed to be an aggravation of some “tightness” that had nagged Torres earlier this week.

“We’re hoping it’s a short stint,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. “Probably take us up to the All-Star Break.”

Neil Walker likely will replace Torres as the Yankees’ everyday second baseman, and it’s possible they decide to call up Tyler Wade, a 23-year-old middle infielder who began the season with them. Wade was sent down to Triple-A in April just as Torres was being called up to the big-league club.

According to Boone, Torres has dealt with similar hip injuries in the past, but it has never given him major trouble. In fact, when Boone first addressed reporters following Wednesday’s game, and just before the MRI results were revealed, he believed Torres would be fine.

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“Anytime you’re talking about groin, hamstring, quads, once you have a strain in there and you push through it, you could make it a worse thing and now you’re talking weeks and months and stuff like that,” Boone said. “So the wise thing is to do this now.”

A potential Rookie of the Year selection, Torres has been a force for the Yankees ever since he was called up April 21. He’s batting .294 with 15 home runs, 42 RBI, a .555 slugging percentage and a .905 OPS in 63 games. He leads all rookies in homers, batting average and slugging percentage.

The Yankees also won 15 of the first 16 games in which he played. Torres also has three walk-off hits.

“Gleyber wants to take a couple days and just work through it, but he also understands that this is the best thing for him and for us,” Boone said.

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England reach quarters after beating Colombia on penalties

The Three Lions will face Sweden in the last eight after a dramatic penalty shoot-out victory over Colombia in Moscow.

England have put an end to their penalty shoot-out curse, beating Colombia 4-3 to reach the World Cup quarter-finals.

Eric Dier put away the final spot kick to secure victory, having been given the opportunity to put the Three Lions into the quarter-finals after Jordan Pickford saved a shot from Carlos Bacca.

Jordan Henderson was the first not to score thanks to a fine David Ospina save, fuelling fears of yet more penalties heartache for England – but then Mateus Uribe clattered the next spot kick off the underside of the crossbar.

Kevin Trippier stepped up to draw England level, before the one-handed save from Pickford and firm finish from Dier sent England through to a last-eight clash with Sweden on Saturday.

The set piece arrived after Pickford – who was criticized for his performance in the final group stage game against Belgium – was forced into a stunning fingertip save by a 30-yard piledriver from substitute Uribe.

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It was the first real test of the night for the England goalkeeper, who had been a relative bystander for the majority of what was a feisty affair in Moscow.

Without the craft of the injured James Rodriguez – the star of the last World Cup in Brazil – they found it difficult to get the ball to striker Falcao in goal-scoring positions.

Southgate – who famously missed the penalty that saw England eliminated from Euro 96 – will now lead his side into a quarter-final against Sweden at 3pm UK time on Saturday.

It will be the third time the two sides have met in the last five World Cups.

They went head-to-head in the group stages of the 2002 and 2006 tournaments, with the tightly fought matches ending up 1-1 and 2-2 respectively.

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