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MRI on Trevor Story’s ailing elbow comes back clean, per Colorado Rockies

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An MRI on the ailing right elbow of Colorado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story came back clean, manager Bud Black told reporters Tuesday.

The Rockies placed Story on the 10-day injured list over the weekend with what the team called right elbow inflammation. He had left the game Thursday against the New York Mets with the injury.

The IL move is retroactive to Friday, and Black told reporters that the Rockies hope Story can rejoin the team next Tuesday.

An All-Star in 2018 and 2019, Story is in the final year of his contract. He has been considered a possible trade candidate this season before becoming one of the most coveted players on the free-agent market.

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Chris Sale certain he’ll be back to help Boston Red Sox before end of season

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Nearly 15 months after undergoing Tommy John surgery, Chris Sale says he is confident he will be ready to contribute to the Boston Red Sox before the end of the season.

“One hundred percent,” Sale said Tuesday before knocking on a wooden table in front of him. “Unless something crazy happens. I’ll be there soon enough.”

Sale, 32, returned to Fenway Park on Monday and was throwing in the outfield. He threw again Tuesday, with manager Alex Cora saying the Red Sox ace threw 25 pitches, including a combination of his fastball, changeup and slider.

Sale last appeared in a game in August 2019 and is itching to make his return to the mound.

“If it was up to me, I’d be starting tomorrow,” he said.

Sale will remain with the team through at least the end of next week, continuing to throw bullpen sessions with the major league squad after spending months rehabbing at the spring training complex in Fort Myers, Florida.

“He’s in a great place mentally,” Cora said. “Physically, he looks a lot stronger than two years ago. Just excited that he’s a baseball player again. Now we’ve just got to be patient. … It felt good to see him, to have him around, and now we get excited but at the same time, we have to be disciplined, we have to be patient and whenever he’s ready, we know he’s going to contribute.”

The next step for Sale in the rehab process would be throwing against hitters while he’s with the team in Boston. Head trainer Brad Pearson and pitching coach Dave Bush compared the intensity of Tuesday’s bullpen session to one a pitcher would go through in January.

“Basically, they said don’t get too excited,” Cora said.

Expressing his desire to return to competitive games, Sale said he would be willing to pitch out of the bullpen to build back toward being a starting pitcher, if it meant skipping rehab starts in the minor leagues.

“I would be game for that,” Sale said. “The quicker that I can be back on this team, I would like that. That is way above my pay grade and where I’m at right now. I’m focused on my next day and getting off the mound and then whatever the next step is, take that.”

Sale said that he was both pleased and displeased with the progress of his rehab.

“I’d like to be out there already,” Sale said. “From where I started in spring training to where I am now, I’ve done everything I possibly could to put myself in the best position. I’ve had a lot of help through this process. A lot of people guiding me and getting me through this. So I’ve been very pleased with what has been going on and where I’m at.”

The time away gave Sale a new appreciation for the mundane things a baseball player works through on a day-to-day basis during the season.

“I can already tell that I appreciate what I do on a daily basis more than I ever have in my life,” Sale said. “If it’s coming here and doing a shoulder program — which I don’t know if I ever heard of a pitcher who liked doing a shoulder program — but just appreciating the fact that I get to do it, just being able to throw, that I’ve been able to throw the last few months and it’s not going to be some big ceremonial game.”

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Texas Rangers designate former AL home run champion Khris Davis for assignment

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The Texas Rangers designated outfielder/designated hitter Khris Davis for assignment on Tuesday after he was hitting .157 in his first season with the club.

Davis, who was acquired in the trade that sent longtime Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus to the Oakland Athletics, has two home runs and five RBIs in 22 games with Texas. He began the season on the injured list with a strained left quad.

General manager Chris Young and manager Chris Woodward both said the team needs to find out about its young players, and there will now be more opportunities to do that.

“It’s less about Khris Davis’ performance and more about the club in general, the state of our group and where we are and what aligns with our goals for this year,” Young said. “This was really, really hard in a lot of ways because we love having him around and the influence that he’s had on our group. But unfortunately, the performance has been probably a little less than we expected, and certainly we need to take a look at our younger guys.”

Davis, 33, led the American League in home runs in 2018 for the A’s when he hit 48 and went on to win the Edgar Martinez Award as the major leagues’ top designated hitter.

His 2018 season capped a run of three straight seasons of 42 or more home runs and 102 or more RBIs. He also hit .247 in each season.

For his career, Davis has 220 homers, 585 RBIs and a .241 batting average.

The Rangers now have seven days to trade or release Davis, who also could be sent to the minors if he were to accept such a move.

The Rangers recalled infielder/outfielder Eli White from Triple-A Round Rock in a corresponding move.

White made the Rangers’ Opening Day roster, but hit .127 over 22 games and was in a 1-for-30 slump before being optioned to Round Rock on May 8, when the Rangers activated Davis for the first time this season. White batted .343 and started at five different positions in 20 games for Round Rock.

“I’d like to see him kind of move around a little bit,” Woodward said. “He came into camp, made the team, earned it. Obviously didn’t perform as well as he’d like, went back down. … He’s earned the right to be back here with this opportunity.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Joey Votto back with Cincinnati Reds after more than month on IL with fractured thumb

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The Cincinnati Reds activated first baseman Joey Votto from the injured list Tuesday after he had missed more than a month with a fractured left thumb.

He is batting cleanup and playing first base in Tuesday night’s game at Great American Ball Park against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Votto last played for the Reds on May 5 against the Chicago White Sox, when he suffered the thumb injury after he was hit by a Dallas Keuchel changeup.

He just completed a rehabilitation assignment at Triple-A Louisville, and the team said he was able to catch throws at first base with minimal soreness.

Votto, a former National League MVP and six-time All-Star, is hitting .226 with five home runs and 17 RBIs in 29 games this season.

The Reds placed right-hander Michael Feliz (elbow) on the 10-day injured list in a corresponding move, which was made retroactive to Monday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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