Rays may promote Jeremy Hellickson as a reliever

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Rays fans have been pushing for the club to promote top pitching prospect Jeremy Hellickson since early May, but fifth starter Wade Davis, 24, has looked better as of late and it’s been hard for manager Joe Maddon and Co. to find a fit for the highly touted 23-year-old.  That could change in a few weeks.

According to Bill Chastain of MLB.com, the Rays may call up Hellickson and use him as a reliever as they push for a spot in the playoffs later this season.

“Out of the bullpen, that’s a possibility, and I would not be opposed to
that at all,” Maddon said Saturday.  “But eventually he’s going to be one of the starters, there
is no doubt. To get a taste, I think he could do it, and it would serve
him well, and us.”

David Price took a similar path to the majors, as did Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright.  And Hellickson may be just as talented as those current Cy Young contenders.  Through 19 starts this season at Triple-A Durham, he has posted an 11-3 record, a 2.56 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP.  He also has a 110/31 K/BB ratio in 109 innings.

Kris Bryant exits game with sprained right ankle

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The Cubs had a scare on Wednesday night when third baseman Kris Bryant left with an apparent ankle injury. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Nationals catcher Matt Wieters hit a pop up that veered just into foul territory near the third base bag. Bryant caught it but his momentum took him back into fair territory. In doing so, he stepped awkwardly on the third base bag and appeared to twist his ankle. Bryant needed the assistance of manager Joe Maddon and the team trainer to get off the field.

Bryant was diagnosed with a mild ankle sprain, CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney reports.

Bryant was 2-for-3 on the night before departing and being replaced by Jeimer Candelario. He’s now hitting .264/.395/.520 with 16 home runs and 32 RBI in 329 plate appearances. Needless to say, the 39-39 Cubs would see their playoff odds hurt immensely if Bryant were to miss a significant amount of time.

Miguel Sano will participate in the 2017 Home Run Derby

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Hector Gomez reports Twins third baseman Miguel Sano will participate in the 2017 Home Run Derby, to be held in two weeks at Marlins Park in Miami. So far, Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton is the only other confirmed participant.

Sano, 24, is having an outstanding season, batting .274/.375/.548 with 18 home runs and 53 RBI in 293 plate appearances. According to MLB’s Statcast, only Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge (96.7 MPH) has a higher average exit velocity than Sano (96.4 MPH).

Brian Dozier was the last member of the Twins to participate in the Home Run Derby. In 2014 at Target Field, Dozier failed to make it into the second round after hitting only two home runs. Justin Morneau is the only Twin to have ever won the Home Run Derby, as he beat Josh Hamilton 5-3 in the finals of the 2008 Derby at Yankee Stadium — although Hamilton out-homered him in total 35 to 22.