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ROY candidate Tatis going on IL with back strain

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San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. is going on the 10-day injured list with a back strain.

Tatis, a Rookie of the Year candidate who is batting a team-leading .317, left Tuesday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays with back spasms and did not play Wednesday.

He is eligible to come of the IL on Aug. 24.

Infielder Ty France was called up from Triple-A El Paso on Friday and is playing second base against the Philadelphia Phillies, batting seventh.

Tatis missed 34 games earlier in the season with a hamstring injury.

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Texas Rangers’ Robinson Chirinos could miss season start with ankle injury

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ARLINGTON, Texas — Texas Rangers catcher Robinson Chirinos could miss the start of the season because of an injured right ankle suffered in an intrasquad game.

Manager Chris Woodward said Tuesday night that Chirinos was better than anticipated a day after getting hurt, but that it was still unclear how long the catcher would be out. The season opener is July 24 at home against Colorado.

“Encouraging to see him walking around. Not a lot of swelling,” Woodward said. “I guess we’ll take it day by day, but there is a slight chance he may be ready for the start of the season, or maybe down for the beginning of the year. But it is encouraging. It could have been a lot worse.”

Chirinos was hurt Monday night when taking a throw at the plate, rolling his ankle when Scott Heineman hit it while sliding into home. Chirinos stayed seated on the ground for a few minutes before walking gingerly to the dugout.

Chirinos returned to the Rangers as a free agent after one season away, spending last season with the AL champion Houston Astros. He previously played for the Rangers from 2013-18.

Left fielder Willie Calhoun also left Monday’s game early after feeling tightness in his right hip flexor. He had an MRI on Tuesday morning, though Woodward said he didn’t yet have the results.

“He is still tender today. If you talk to him, he doesn’t think he’ll be out that long. We believe there is a strain in there,” Woodward said.

Calhoun suffered a broken jaw when he was hit by a fastball in a spring training game March 8. He has recovered from that.

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Mets’ Jacob deGrom leaves intrasquad start with back tightness

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New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom left his intrasquad start on Tuesday after one inning because of back tightness, according to the team.

DeGrom, 32, has won the NL Cy Young Award the past two seasons.

He went 11-8 with a 2.43 ERA and an NL-best 255 strikeouts in 204 innings last season.

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Braves add the power of Yasiel Puig for tough 2020 NL East race

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Here I was, tromping through the weeds on Northerly Island, trying to get my daily hike in before my energy gave out, when I noticed that always welcome notification on my work email account. Checking the message, I found that there was an actual baseball signing, and analysis was required. It doesn’t seem like that should be such a novelty, but under the circumstances, it really is.

‘Wow,’ I thought. Yasiel Puig to the Atlanta Braves. That is a thing that happened. So I cooled down, drank some water and thought through the ramifications of the news during my walk home. My more thoughtful response to the news is this: Yasiel Puig to the Braves. That is a thing that happened.

What Atlanta has done is not hard to pin down. In signing Puig, the Braves have filled the void opened by right fielder Nick Markakis‘ decision to opt out of the season. The Braves had in-house, younger options to pick up Markakis’ at-bats, but with the lineup already needing to pick up the slack from Josh Donaldson‘s departure, adding a semi-dependable bat to replicate Markakis’ numbers was not the worst idea. That need perhaps intensified when it became official that National League clubs would use designated hitters this season.

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