I missed this yesterday, but apparently there had been a report that the Arizona Diamondbacks could be an alternate candidate to move to the American League in that whole move-the-Astros-to-the-AL realignment gambit. Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports, however, that the Dbacks wouldn’t be terribly interested in that. And, for that matter, Diamondbacks CEO Derrick Hall doesn’t think that they make as much sense geographically as some other team would.
Actually, that last part doesn’t make a ton of sense. Three of the four teams currently in the AL West are on the coast, so adding a team to that division that is closer to the coast would make less overall travel for the division as a whole than adding the Astros would. An AL West Houston team would double the number of trips to Texas for Seattle, Oakland and Anaheim. If you add Arizona, it’s just another stop on the way to California that the Rangers are making anyway. Not saying that travel is the be-all, end-all here — the Braves were in the NL West for 25 years or so — but it’s not nothing.
My guess is that this has a lot more to do with money. I bet that Arizona likes having the Dodgers and Giants fans — who swarm to Phoenix in the spring already — helping out at the gate when they come to town. And you can’t blame him them for liking that.
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.