Halladay and Lincecum named All-Star starters

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Roy Halladay and Tim Lincecum have been chosen to start tomorrow
night’s All-Star game and both managers revealed their lineups this
morning:

   AMERICAN LEAGUE                 NATIONAL LEAGUE
1. Ichiro Suzuki, RF 1. Hanley Ramirez, SS
2. Derek Jeter, SS 2. Chase Utley, 2B
3. Joe Mauer, C 3. Albert Pujols, 1B
4. Mark Teixeira, 1B 4. Ryan Braun, RF
5. Jason Bay, LF 5. Raul Ibanez, LF
6. Josh Hamilton, CF 6. David Wright, 3B
7. Evan Longoria, 3B 7. Shane Victorino, CF
8. Aaron Hill, 2B 8. Yadier Molina, C
9. Roy Halladay, SP 9. Tim Lincecum, SP

Lincecum is the reigning Cy Young winner and ranks second in ERA
this year, so he’s the easy pick to start for the NL. Halladay isn’t
quite as much of a slam dunk for the AL, because Zack Greinke was the
league’s best pitcher during the first half, but Halladay wasn’t far
behind and has been one of the league’s elite pitchers for a decade
now. All in all, it’s a great pairing.

Shane Victorino goes from being added via the “Final Vote” process
to starting in place of the injured Carlos Beltran, because with Raul
Ibanez and Ryan Braun in the corners the NL outfield needed someone
actually capable of chasing down fly balls in the gaps. It’s
interesting to note how much more power the NL has in the first three
spots in the lineup.

Ichiro Suzuki, Derek Jeter, and Joe Mauer have combined for 31
homers in 1,044 plate appearances, and that’s with Mauer already
setting a career-high in long balls. Hanley Ramirez, Chase Utley, and
Albert Pujols have combined for 66 homers in 1,111 plate appearances.
On the other hand, Aaron Hill has 20 homers and ranks second in the
league in total bases, yet is batting eighth for the AL.

Miguel Cabrera blasts two home runs against Braves

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 28: Miguel Cabrera #24 of the Detroit Tigers hits a three-run home run during the fifth inning of the game against the Cleveland Indians scoring teammates Cameron Maybin #4 and Ian Kinsler #3 (not in photo) on September 28, 2016 at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
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Even while injured, Miguel Cabrera is a force to be reckoned with. The 33-year-old slugger has been playing with a contusion on his knee since Wednesday, according to postgame comments made by Tigers’ manager Brad Ausmus.

That didn’t stop him from whacking a 410-foot home run against Atlanta right-hander Matt Wisler on Friday night, skirting the center field fence to put the Tigers up 3-0 in the first inning. In the third, he lead off the inning with another long drive off of Wisler, targeting his changeup for a 421-foot shot, his 38th home run of the season:

It’s Cabrera’s sixth two-run homer game since the start of the season, and his first against the Braves since 2005. He needs just two more home runs to keep an even 40 on the year, which would return him to the kind of league-leading levels that accentuated his MVP case in 2012 and 2013. If he can do it by the end of this Tigers-Braves game (unlikely, but not unheard of), he’ll be the 15th major leaguer to hit four home runs in a single game.

Reds’ manager Bryan Price extended through 2017

PHOENIX, AZ - AUGUST 28: Manager Bryan Price #38 of the Cincinnati Reds looks on during the fifth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on August 28, 2016 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
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The Reds will roll with manager Bryan Price for at least one more season. Per MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon, Price has been extended through the 2017 season with a club option for 2018. He won’t be the only familiar face leading the team, as the Reds have reportedly asked the entire coaching staff to return as well.

This is Price’s second consecutive season with 90+ losses since Cincinnati signed him to a three-year contract back in 2014. While he hasn’t been able to replicate the same kind of success that former skipper Dusty Baker found in 2012 and 2013, he’s been saddled with a team that’s still in the throes of rebuilding, not one that looks on the cusp of playoff contention. It is, after all, the same team that has not seen a healthy season from Homer Bailey since Price’s arrival, one that unloaded Jay Bruce for a pair of prospects earlier this year and one whose pitching staff set a single-season record for most home runs given up by a major league team.

Justifying Price’s extension requires a different kind of yardstick, one that measures player development and individual success over the cumulative win-loss record. Here, Price has overseen solid performances from contributors like Adam Duvall, who is batting .244/.297/.506 with 2.9 fWAR in his first full major-league season, as well as young arms like Anthony DeSclafani, Brandon Finnegan, and Michael Lorenzen, among others.

From comments made by Reds’ CFO Bob Castellini, Price’s success within a rough rebuilding process appears to have cemented his place within the club, at least for the time being.

I like the young, aggressive team Walt and Dick have put together with players from within our system and from recent trades. […] Bryan has been here seven seasons now. He’s comfortable with the direction we are heading with our young players, and we are comfortable with him leading us in that direction.