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Baseball Daily Dose

Daily Dose: National News

by Nathan Grimm
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Juan Soto has raked at every level of professional baseball he's reached thus far.


Now, he'll take on the highest one.


Multiple sources Saturday reported Soto would be promoted by the Nationals ahead of Sunday's game against the Dodgers. Nationals manager Dave Martinez wouldn't confirm the rumored move late Saturday.


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The news is bittersweet, as it comes in the wake of the team losing Howie Kendrick to a season-ending right Achilles rupture. Kendrick suffered the injury in the first game of Saturday's doubleheader against the Dodgers when he made a catch on the warning track.


If Soto is indeed called up by the Nats for Sunday's game, he'll debut as a 19-year-old who won't turn 20 until October 25. Soto's debut will have come after fewer minor league plate appearances than another phenom, Bryce Harper.


And what he's done in those minor league plate appearances has been nothing short of amazing. As a minor leaguer, Soto owns a .362/.434/.609 slash line in 122 games, reaching Double-A in recent weeks. In 39 games this season, Soto has 14 homers and 52 RBI.


Growing pains exist for every rookie, let alone a 19-year-old. Soto's pedigree and upside in a strong Nationals lineup make him worthy of an add in every league, though, where he's available.


'Not A Fun Time' For Hill


Rich Hill started Saturday, and the Dodgers won.


That doesn't tell nearly the story.


Hill threw just two pitches in the nightcap of Saturday's doubleheader against the Nationals, exiting after a blister on his pitching hand ripped open. Hill left with the Dodgers trainer and revealed the injury after the game.


The team didn't make a move Saturday, but Hill and the club expect the southpaw to miss some time -- Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said, “This is as bad as I’ve seen it” -- with the ailment.


"As frustrating as it is for everyone I feel like it’s three times worse for me," Hill said after the game. "I want to go out there and pitch. That’s it. And this is preventing me from doing that. Not a fun time."


Blister issues are nothing new for Hill, especially in his Dodgers career. The club acquired Hill from the Athletics at the waiver trade deadline in 2016 -- while he was on the disabled list for a blister that had cropped up two weeks before. He had his first scheduled start for the Dodgers pushed back because of the blister, finally making his Dodgers debut on August 24. His next start was also pushed back, to September 3, for blister issues.


On Saturday, Hill said the issue -- a chunk of skin on his fingertip that ripped open -- is as bad as it was that time around, suggesting another extended absence. To that end, Roberts said Hill will require a rehab assignment to prove his readiness once the blister is healed.


Rangers Keep Losing Players, Games


Injury and insult have gone hand in hand for the Rangers this year, and Saturday was no exception.


Cole Hamels became the latest member of the Rangers to miss time due to injury, having his scheduled start scratched due to continued neck stiffness. The ailment was actually a holdover from earlier in the week, when his original start was pushed back for the same reason.


The Rangers' injury list already includes a host of names, including Elvis Andrus, Adrian Beltre and Matt Moore, among others. In a related note, the team's record is among the worst in the American League, sitting at 18-29 after a loss to the White Sox on Saturday.


Unlike some of the other injuries, Hamels isn't expected to miss much time. Rangers manager Jeff Banister said he anticipates Hamels will be able to start in next week's series against the Yankees.


National League Quick Hits: Josh Harrison (hand) will be activated from the disabled list Sunday, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. Harrison has been working up to a return, playing in rehab games in recent days. Adam Frazier has been manning the keystone in Harrison's absence. The infielder was hitting .263/.328/.351 in 14 games before suffering the fractured hand in mid-April ... Brandon Belt (knee) was back in the Giants' lineup Saturday. Belt sat out Friday's game with some knee soreness but was OK in short order. He picked up right where he left off, going 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored in Saturday's win over the Rockies ... Odubel Herrera hit a two-run home run and drove in three runs to help the Phillies edge the Cardinals on Saturday. The homer was his seventh of the year, giving him 30 RBI and 24 runs scored. His line is robust, as one would expect from a guy who's reached base in 45 straight games dating back to last year, sitting at .353/.420/.558 after Saturday's game ... Jose Quintana got back on track Saturday, tossing seven innings of one-hit, one-run baseball in a win over the Reds. Quintana was in need of a sharp performance after surrendering three homers to the Mets last time out, and the Reds offered him the perfect rebound opponent to work on. He was brilliant throughout, at least setting aside the four walks that he issued. He struck out seven on the evening and finished his seven innings of work having thrown 101 pitches (63 strikes).


American League Quick Hits: Twins placed 1B Joe Mauer on 10-day disabled list with concussion-like symptoms. The Twins said Mauer suffered a cervical neck strain in Friday's game, but he was also experiencing some sensitivity to light and was sent home. Given his history of concussion issues, it's always concerning when he's feeling symptoms like that. Especially with his background, the team will be extra cautious with something like that, so there's no real timetable for a possible return at this point ... Corey Kluber held the Astros to two runs in seven innings and earned the win Saturday. Carlos Correa punished him with a two-run homer in the sixth inning but that was all the damage the Indians' ace would yield in the quality start. He punched out 10 batters without issuing a base-on-balls in the contest. He improves to 7-2 with a 2.36 ERA and 0.84 WHIP after 10 starts ... Gary Sanchez went 4-for-5 with two solo home runs, an RBI double and three total RBI in a win over the Royals. Sanchez raised his average from .204 to .225 with his hit barrage. Even with his struggles to find a level of consistency, Sanchez has already hit 12 home runs and driven in 33 runs in 39 games this year ... Chad Pinder crushed a go-ahead grand slam in the eighth inning, propelling the Athletics to a victory over the Blue Jays on Saturday afternoon in Toronto. He finished the day 2-for-4 and is now slashing .280/.341/.507 with four homers and 10 RBI ... Daniel Robertson connected for his first-career grand slam in Saturday's road victory against the Angels. The 24-year-old middle infielder is 5-for-10 with two home runs, six RBI and five runs scored in the first three games of the series.