Joe Mauer leads Home Run Derby voting despite 3 homers

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In addition to the usual All-Star game balloting MLB is also running a vote for fans to select the Home Run Derby participants. Albert Pujols is leading the National League and Joe Mauer is leading the American League.
Mauer and Pujols both hit five homers in the opening round of the Home Run Derby last year before Pujols prevailed in a “swing-off” that knocked Mauer out. However, last year Mauer showed by far the most power of his career with 28 homers, including 15 at the All-Star break. This year? Mauer has just three homers, which ranks tied for 196th in MLB.
Paul Konerko, Miguel Cabrera, and Jose Bautista are tied for the MLB lead with 20 long balls and 84 different guys are already in double-digits, so Mauer’s single-digit total is going to look awfully weird as an on-screen graphic when he’s swinging for the fences alongside the actual power hitters.

Yankees acquire A.J. Cole from the Nats

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The New York Yankees have acquired reliever A.J. Cole from the Washington Nationals for cash considerations.

Cole was supposed to be the Nats’ fifth starter this year but that didn’t work out too well. He pitched in four games for the Nats, starting two, to the tune of a 13.06 ERA, having given up six home runs in 10.1 innings. That’s . . . something.

Don’t get too used to Cole on the New York roster, as this seems like one of those “give us an arm” for a couple of days deals, after which Cole will be DFA’d and will either accept an assignment to Scranton or be cut loose. Such is life at the fringes for a guy who is out of minor league options.