Phillies starter Velasquez hit in forearm by liner, exits

Phillies starter Velasquez hit in forearm by liner, exits

Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Vince Velasquez throws during the first inning of the team’s baseball game against the Washington Nationals, Saturday, June 30, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Laurence Kesterson)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Philadelphia Phillies starter Vince Velasquez has left the game after being hit in the right forearm by a line drive.

The Phillies said the right-hander had a bruise. He was struck Saturday night by a liner from Washington’s Adam Eaton in the second inning.

After getting hit, Velasquez dropped his glove, pounced on the ball to the left of the mound and fired to first base with his left hand to get final out of the inning. He then went down, riling in pain and clutching his right arm.

Velasquez gave up one run and three hits before leaving. He entered 5-8 with a 4.69 ERA.

Indians RHP Salazar (shoulder) to undergo exploratory surgery

Indians RHP Salazar (shoulder) to undergo exploratory surgery

Cleveland Indians right-hander Danny Salazar will undergo exploratory arthroscopic surgery on his injured right shoulder, the team announced Saturday.

Salazar, 28, has not pitched this season as he has dealt with inflammation in his throwing shoulder. He received two separate injections in his shoulder in May but has not progressed well from the injury, prompting the decision for exploratory surgery.

The Indians expect to announce a timetable for Salazar’s return after the procedure.

Arm injuries have plagued Salazar during his career. He underwent Tommy John surgery as a minor league pitcher in 2010, and he was shut down for much of the second half of the 2016 season because of elbow, shoulder and forearm injuries.

In 108 games (104 starts), Salazar is 38-33 with a 3.82 ERA. He enjoyed a career-best season in 2015 as he went 14-10 with a 3.45 ERA. He struck out 195 batters in 185 innings.

–Field Level Media

Watch Rafael Devers Smack Grand Slam in First Inning Vs. Yankees

Watch Rafael Devers Smack Grand Slam in First Inning Vs. Yankees

One night after the Boston Red Sox offense was stifled by New York Yankees pitching, youngster Rafael Devers gave it a jolt to begin Saturday’s contest.

The Sox loaded the bases with two outs in the first inning at Yankees Stadium, bringing up the 21-year-old third baseman.

New York starter Sonny Gray got Devers in a 1-2 count and put an 83 mph curveball on the outside edge of the plate. Devers took a big cut at it and the ball kept carrying, making it just barely out of the park.

Take a look:

Not a bad way to give Sox starter Chris Sale some run support.

Of course, this is not the first time Devers has hit an impressive home run at Yankee Stadium. Shortly after his first big league call-up, Devers drilled a game-tying home run in New York in the ninth inning off an Aroldis Chapman fastball.

Thumbnail photo via Adam Hunger/USA TODAY Sports Images

Trade or no trade this summer, here's why Adrian Beltre only wants to play for the Texas Rangers in 2019

Trade or no trade this summer, here's why Adrian Beltre only wants to play for the Texas Rangers in 2019

ARLINGTON – In case you couldn’t tell by the 100-degree temperatures of the last week, July is finally upon us. With it comes the countdown to the trade deadline and this year, perhaps the countdown to Adrian Beltre’s final games as a Ranger.

Until next year, at least.

While he has firmly refused to deal in speculation about where he might spend the final two months of this season, Beltre on Saturday took a moment to discuss the future beyond those two months. If it includes playing, he made it clear he wants it to be with the Rangers.

“If I’m going to play next year, I want it to be here,” Beltre said of the Rangers on Saturday. “Right now, that’s a big if. But, if I play, I think I owe it to these fans. And I want to retire as a Ranger.”

It is a significant change in attitude for Beltre, who has said in the past that he didn’t want to be part of a rebuilding program, which is exactly where the Rangers are headed whether they trade him or not. He has also made it clear that the one thing missing from his career is contributing to a world championship.

Knowing they very well could be in their current position with or without Beltre, the Rangers surveyed the market this winter, but found little trade interest. The Rangers, according to a league source, have re-engaged with contending teams about Beltre.

But there could be a glut of third basemen on the market. Somebody younger, such as Baltimore’s third baseman-turned-shortstop Manny Machado or Kansas City’s Mike Moustakas, might be more appealing than the 39-year-old Beltre, who has had two tours of the DL this year due to recurring hamstring issues.

Also complicating matters is that Beltre, through service-time rights, has the ability to veto any trade. If presented with a trade that doesn’t give him the best possible shot at being a significant contributor on a team with a strong chance at the World Series, he could theoretically reject the deal.

The role is also likely to be important to Beltre. The right temporary “match” would likely be an AL team that could offer him playing time at both third base and DH since his time playing defense has been limited by the injuries. He has played three consecutive games at third just twice since April 25. On one occasion, the team had a scheduled off day in the middle of the stretch. On the third day of the other, Beltre aggravated the hamstring injury.

The best case scenario for all the parties might be the if the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, fighting to avoid playing in the AL wild card game, both see a need for him. Both teams have young, promising third basemen: Miguel Andujar in New York and Rafael Devers in Boston. Devers has struggled over the last two months. Beltre had a good one-year experience in Boston and has a close relationship with Red Sox manager Alex Cora, a former teammate.

Cleveland would be the other possibility. Though Cleveland has a firm hold on the AL Central, it’s uncertain how Beltre would view the team’s chances when stacked up against New York, Boston or Houston.

There would be plenty of reasons for Beltre to return to the Rangers after the season, not the least of which is the team could use some kind of fan draw as it enters its last season at Globe Life Park in Arlington. One more year of Beltre could give the Rangers and their fans a chance for a farewell tour as Beltre continues to inch up the charts among all-time leaders.

He began Saturday with 3,105 hits, which ranks 21st all-time. He needs 209 hits to both surpass Willie Mays and crack the all-time top 10 in that category. He also began Saturday 34 home runs shy of 500 for his career and 112 third base starts shy of Brooks Robinson’s record for the most games started at any single position (2,790).

The other pressing reason: The Rangers will be a young team and could use some veteran leadership. Having Beltre as a part-time third baseman and part-time DH could create more playing time for Jurickson Profar and Isiah Kiner-Falefa.

But it would be a stark difference from the role he has played for most of his career, which is leading by example of playing every day. It would be a change for Beltre, who is in the process of building his dream home in the Los Angeles area. He would likely have to weigh whether he’d rather play some and lead some kids or whether he’d rather play around with and lead his own kids as a dad.

“My family and my kids will have an impact on what I do,” Beltre said. “And right now we just don’t know.”

What he does know: If he plays in 2019, it will be with the Rangers.

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Vince Velasquez takes scorching line drive to pitching elbow, somehow throws out runner with other arm

Vince Velasquez takes scorching line drive to pitching elbow, somehow throws out runner with other arm

You probably won’t see a play like the one Vince Velasquez made for a while. (AP Photo)

Toughness and finesse so rarely intersect in baseball, but Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Vince Velasuez showed a way to make it happen on Saturday.

During the second inning of the Phillies’ game against the Washington Nationals on Saturday, Velasquez took a 96 mph line drive from Adam Eaton off his right elbow and still managed to make an out. The way Velasquez made the throw is a play of the year candidate, but it could also unfortunately be the last play he makes for a while.

Vince Velasquez’s incredible, unfortunate play

It was immediately obvious Velasquez was in immense pain after the line drive hit him, but instead of leaving the play to the third baseman and yielding a hit, the right-hander took off his glove, picked up the ball and threw a strike to first base with his left arm. Eaton was called out to end the inning, while Velasquez soon fell to the ground and started writhing in pain.

Somehow, Velazquez had the presence of mind to take off his glove right after the ball hit him, the skill to make a perfect throw with the arm he’s not supposed to use and the toughness to stay off the ground until after the play.

Vince Velasquez’s injury outlook

Unfortunately, that was Velasquez’s final play of the game, and the comebacker looked painful enough it’s hard not to think Velasquez might have suffered a significant injury during the play.

The 26-year-old was pulled from the game after two innings of work and was replaced by rookie reliever Victor Arano. While his 4.69 ERA is well below average, Velasquez has been a stalwart for the Phillies in 2018 and him missing time would be rough for the team’s pitching depth. The right-hander has made every start so far this season and ranks second on the team in strikeouts and innings pitched.

This story will be updated as soon as the Phillies update Velasquez’s status.

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