Sports briefs for April 7, 2014

Posted April 07, 2014, at 5:47 p.m.

NFL, players’ union meeting Tuesday

NFL and NFL players’ association officials are scheduled to meet in New York on Tuesday to discuss workplace conduct, among other issues, according to NFL Network.

Commissioner Roger Goodell said during last month’s NFL Annual Meeting in Orlando, Fla., that the league and players’ union would meet in the near future.

The workplace environment became a big topic during the season in light of the Miami Dolphins’ bullying and harassment scandal primarily involving offensive linemen Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin.

“(We’ve been) talking about what … we need to do to make sure we have a workplace we’re all proud of,” Goodell said at last month’s league meetings. “And those have been very productive, and this will be an important meeting with the union.”

Goodell also said at the time that expanding the playoffs may also be discussed.

NFL prospect from Clemson tears ACL

Former Clemson guard Brandon Thomas, who is considered one of the top interior offensive linemen available in this year’s NFL Draft, suffered a torn ACL in his right knee during training last week.

The news was first reported by ESPN.com on Monday. Thomas (6-foot-3, 317 pounds) is ranked No. 120 overall by NFLDraftScout.com.

Thomas’ agent, Tom Kleine, confirmed the injury to The Post and Courier.

“As you can imagine, he’s kind of running the gamut of emotions. Training was going great,” Kleine told the Post and Courier. “We’re just still in the process of notifying teams. Will it affect his stock? Probably.”

Thomas, who had six pre-draft visits in recent weeks, was seen as a probable second- or third-round pick before suffering his injury.

Twins place Bartlett on 15-day DL

The Minnesota Twins placed infielder/outfielder Jason Bartlett on the 15-day disabled list with a left ankle sprain on Monday.

Bartlett was injured in the sixth inning of Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Indians.

To take Bartlett’s spot on the 25-man roster, the club recalled catcher/outfielder Chris Herrmann from Triple-A Rochester. Herrmann went 7-for-17 (.412) in 14 spring training games and has played two games for the Red Wings to start the season.

Mattingly optimistic Puig’s ailment isn’t serious

LOS ANGELES — Manager Don Mattingly insists fitting four frontline outfielders into the Los Angeles Dodgers’ lineup on a regular basis is not as complicated as it sounds.

That might be true — if the decision keeps being made for him.

Yasiel Puig was unavailable for Sunday’s game after injuring his left thumb on a headfirst dive into first base during Saturday’s game. Puig remained in the game, but his thumb was sore and swollen.

X-rays were taken after the game, but an MRI was ordered for Sunday afternoon. That exam revealed a sprained ligament. Puig did not play in Sunday’s 6-2 victory over the San Francisco Giants and was described as day-to-day by Mattingly after the game.

White Sox’s Beckham experiences setback in rehab

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Second baseman Gordon Beckham likely will be out longer than the White Sox anticipated.

Beckham, sidelined due to a strained left oblique muscle, began a rehab assignment Thursday with Double-A Birmingham, going 0-for-3.

However, he has not played since because his oblique flared up again and is tender when he swings. He was pulled again from the lineup Saturday and won’t play again until he feels better.

Asked Sunday if Beckham were feeling discomfort in his oblique again, White Sox manager Robin Ventura nodded yes.

Escobar set to stay in Tampa Bay

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Shortstop Yunel Escobar made it clear to the Tampa Bay Rays that he wanted to be part of their long-term future when he “commandeered” Andrew Friedman, as the executive vice president put it, during spring training.

For a team that seeks continuity at a reasonable price, the veteran’s unexpected approach made perfect sense.

Escobar, 31, agreed Sunday to a two-year contract extension worth a guaranteed $13 million. The club holds an option for 2017.

Escobar will earn the same $5 million he was scheduled for in 2015, and his salary would increase to $17 million the following two seasons. The team can buy him out for $1 million in 2017.

Friedman credited Escobar’s quality at an “extremely scare position” as part of the reason for the deal.

 

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