Freddy Sanchez finally nearing return, but Mark DeRosa may be DL bound

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Freddy Sanchez finally looks close to rejoining the Giants following knee and shoulder surgeries, going 3-for-5 with three doubles in the first two games of his rehab assignment at Single-A.
Bruce Bochy said Sanchez could be cleared to come off the disabled list as soon as next Wednesday if he avoids a setback while moving his rehab stint to Triple-A over the weekend. “Freddy feels like he’s turned a corner,” Bochy said. “We’re not bringing him up to play a day and rest a day. We want to see him with no restrictions.”
On the other hand, it’s sounding more and more like Mark DeRosa may simply take Sanchez’s spot on the DL after saying earlier this week that his offseason wrist surgery was “a total failure.” DeRosa has hit just .224 with a .667 OPS in 83 games since injuring his wrist in the middle of last season, including .194 this year while struggling through numbness in his hand.
After seeing a specialist this week DeRosa told Bochy he was available to pinch-hit, but the manager is choosing to rest him instead and the Giants may opt to put him on the DL if things haven’t improved by tomorrow. In fact, Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News reports that “DeRosa and the Giants must decide if he will have surgery to fix his ruptured nerve sheath now or wait until the offseason.”
When a 35-year-old is contemplating a follow-up surgery to fix a surgery that was “a total failure” just months ago … well, it’s obviously not a good situation. DeRosa and Sanchez are both in the first season of two-year, $12 million contracts.

Yankees sign top two draft picks

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The Yankees signed first-round draft pick Clarke Schmidt and second-round pick Matt Sauer on Saturday, per a team announcement. Schmidt, a right-hander from the University of South Carolina, is set to earn a signing bonus of $2,184,300. According to MLB.com’s Oliver Macklin, that’s much lower than the typical $3+ million allocated for a No. 16 overall pick. The opposite is true for Sauer, whose projected $2.5 million signing bonus tops the suggested $1.2 million reserved for a No. 54 pick.

Schmidt, 21, boasts an impressive four-pitch repertoire and profiles as a front-end or mid-rotation starter, according to reports from Yankees’ VP of Domestic Amateur Scouting Damon Oppenheimer and ESPN’s Keith Law, among others. He carried a 4-2 record through nine starts in 2017 and turned in a 1.34 ERA before undergoing season-ending Tommy John surgery last month to repair a torn UCL in his right elbow. While the Yankees won’t see him pitch at any level until late 2018, they seem confident in his makeup and ability to rebound over the next couple of years.

Fellow right-hander and Righetti High School senior Matt Sauer is a different story altogether. The 18-year-old hurler appears destined for the bullpen with a polished fastball-slider combo and a promising curveball and changeup. He dazzled on the mound this year, going 9-1 with an 0.98 ERA and two shutouts over 78 1/3 innings. While the Yankees seem most interested in his pitching skills, Sauer showed some pop at the plate as well, touting a .427 average with 24 RBI through 135 plate appearances.

Three A’s rookies hit their first big league home runs on Saturday

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The Athletics followed Friday’s 3-0 shutout with a rookie-led home run derby on Saturday afternoon, watching not one, not two, but three rookies belt their first major league home runs off of the White Sox’ James Shields.

Right fielder Matt Olson was the first to strike, taking Shields deep on a first-pitch, two-run blast in the first inning for his first home run in 49 major league plate appearances:

Fellow outfielder Jaycob Brugman duplicated his teammate’s results in the second inning with a solo home run, his first extra-base hit of any kind since he made his debut on June 9:

In the third, with a comfortable 4-0 lead backing two scoreless frames from Oakland right-hander Daniel Gossett, Franklin Barreto took his shot at Shields. After getting the call several hours prior to Saturday’s game, he became the fastest of the three rookies to record his first big league homer, going yard on a 2-2 changeup and driving in Bruce Maxwell to give the A’s a six-run advantage.

The Athletics currently lead the White Sox 8-2 in the top of the sixth inning.