UPDATE: It’s official: Hayhurst has signed a minor league deal with the Rays. We know this from a news release. We know it more colorfully from Hayhurt’s own tweet:
Why hello there, Tampa fans. My name is Dirk. My hobbies include writing, speaking, pretending to be a giant firebreathing giraffe/moose.
Oh, Fortuna, please let him make the team.
Thursday, 2:06 PM: Hurm. Rob’s tweet was taken down. Perchance this was premature exuberance. Here’s hoping the best for Dirk regardless.
Thursday, 1:39 PM: Rob Neyer reports — and last night I’m pretty sure the man himself hinted — that Dirk Hayhurst of “Bullpen Gospels” fame is going to sign with the Rays. I’m hoping Hayhurst does well in Tampa Bay, makes the team and sticks in The Show for a while, because he’s an awesome guy.
But really, this may be more notable for its literary implications than anything else. Hayhurst no doubt has another book in him. Friend of HBT Jonah Keri has a book about the Rays coming out very, very soon. How awesome would it be if Hayhurst learns all kinds of neat things about the Rays from the inside and subsequently writes his own book about them, totally debunking what Jonah writes? It would be the most awesome baseball nerd fight of all time. I hereby proclaim HardballTalk as neutral territory where Dirk and Jonah can argue about it all.
Or maybe not. Either way, good look Garfoose.
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.
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.