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Diamond Hogs Struggle with Injuries, Poor Play

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It was a slow week for professional Razorbacks in the NFL, but the Diamond Hogs were out in full force as baseball continued its path to the postseason.

Houston Astros pitcher Dallas Keuchel is still in rehabilitation after dealing with a bout of shoulder inflammation. The lefty may rush his return if the Astros make a big push to the playoffs.

“At this point, it’s kind of in limbo just because of the recommendation of rest for the recovery process, but at the same time I’m a competitor. I want to pitch,” Keuchel told a reporter from the Houston Chronicle. “And if I feel good, I can only assume that my body’s going to cooperate.”

Keuchel revealed Sept. 16 that doctors recommended four to six weeks of rest and rehabilitation for his injury. His last start took place Aug. 27.

Detroit Tigers catcher James McCann has had a subpar seven-game stretch. Over that duration, McCann has been to the plate 24 times. In those appearances, he’s only managed four hits and a single RBI. Unfortunately for the catcher, he’s struck out 10 times.

Over McCann’s past three games, the Santa Barbara, California, native has struck out four times out of his nine trips to the plate. Still, he has 11 home runs on the year, which is four more than he had last season.

Red Sox outfielder Andrew Benintendi has been officially reinstated to his team’s starting lineup after being cleared to return from his debilitating knee injury he suffered Aug. 24. During his 24 games in the majors, Benintendi has 25 hits, nine doubles and one home run. Benintendi’s return coincides with one of the most important series of the season for the Red Sox, as they get ready to take on an Orioles team that’s trailing Boston by three games in the American League East. The rookie starts in left field, where he made some highlight-worthy catches earlier in the season before going down with the aforementioned injury.

Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Logan Forsythe has had a rough time this season, and his misfortunes were multiplied by being benched Sunday. Forsythe, who went 0-for-4 Saturday in what was an ugly performance, was benched in favor of Alexei Ramirez. Ramirez started at second base and hit eighth in the batting order.

The Rays pitching staff is also have a tough time this season. Former Razorback Drew Smyly has 11 losses, a 4.98 ERA and is surrendering 1.7 home runs per nine innings this season as of Sept. 19, all career worsts. A bright spot of Smyly’s season is his 4-0 record over his last seven starts as of Sept. 19. Smyly’s next start will be against the New York Yankees on Sept. 20 in Tampa, Florida.

There more than likely won’t be any major individual trophies won by any Razorbacks, unlike last season when Keuchel won the American League Cy Young Award. Still, there are plenty of chances for these former Hogs to show their skills on their fields before the end of the season.

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