Listen, we know it's tough to catch up on everything happening in the baseball world each morning. There are all kinds of stories, rumors, game coverage, and Vines of dudes getting hit in the beans every day. Trying to find all of it while on your way to work or sitting at your desk just isn't easy. It's okay, though. We're going to do the heavy lifting for you each morning, and find the things you need to see from within the SB Nation baseball network, as well as from elsewhere. Please hold your applause until the end, or at least until after you subscribe to the newsletter.
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Kyle Schwarber got into an ugly outfield collision with Dexter Fowler on Thursday night, and the first thoughts of everyone who saw it (OK, everyone whose first thoughts weren't "I told you so" or "My fantasy team!" anyway) was that Schwarber's season was over because his knee had essentially exploded. That doesn't seem to the case, though, as far as early X-rays are concerned: Schwarber has, to this point, been diagnosed with a sprained ankle. He's not out of the proverbial woods yet, though, as he will undergo an MRI on his knee and ankle on Friday to make sure that the initial scans didn't miss anything significant.
Were the Cubs to lose Schwarber for any length of time, they at least do have the depth on-hand to replace him. Jorge Soler had been pushed out of a starting role thanks to the ascension of Schwarber, the signing of Jason Heyward and the re-signing of Dexter Fowler. He served as the Cubs' designated hitter against the Angels to open the season, and then entered Thursday's game as a pinch-hitter after Schwarber's collision. And while Soler wasn't great in 2015 when he was the primary right fielder, he's still just 24 and not that far removed from being an exciting prospect.
There is also the option of moving Ben Zobrist to the outfield from second base and letting Tommy La Stella play second, or, if he's ready to return, putting Javier Baez at one of the two spots. None of these options are as appealing as Schwarber, but if the worst comes to pass and there's something far more wrong with him than a sprained ankle, then at least the Cubs have options to consider.
- Bill Maher thinks Bryce Harper is an arrogant d-bag who is "flirting" with the Donald Trump campaign by wearing a hat goofing on Trump's slogan. Yes, Bill. That's exactly what he's doing. You've cracked the code.
- The chances of a Pablo Sandoval trade to San Diego is slim, but if the Red Sox and Padres were to make it work, Melvin Upton might be the key to the whole thing.
- The Royals' heel turn has been so great, and the media is helping.
- Philadelphia sports exploded this week, with the three active major teams all suffering embarrassment. But, hey, Cedric Hunter homered!
- Stacey May Fowles still sees reasons for hope even after this week's instances of sexism in baseball.
- The Rangers need to make a decision on their future at third base, and whether it's going to involve Adrian Beltre or not.
- Fredi Gonzalez has already given us a lesson on the importance of lineup construction.
- The Yankees left Mickey Mantle unprotected in the 1968 expansion draft, and here's why.
- Here's a one-handed catch of a foul ball, all without spilling a drop of beer.
- Addison Russell accidentally threw his bat at the Diamondbacks' mascot, so he should probably watch his back.