Bryce Harper is still expected to start in tonight’s South Atlantic League All-Star Game, but the fans at Arthur W. Perdue Stadium in Salisbury, Maryland aren’t going to get the show they were hoping for.
Harper is currently nursing a sore left thumb that he jammed back on June 12. He missed four games with the injury, including two prior to the All-Star break and was scratched from tonight’s Home Run Derby.
Hagerstown Suns manager Brian Daubach, who is also managing the North team in tonight’s game, told Dave Sheinin of the Washington Post that Harper will only be limited to a few innings and possibly one at-bat.
Meanwhile, Harper says he should be good to go for the second half of the season, which at this rate will likely include a promotion to Double-A Harrisburg.
“The thumb’s feeling good,” Harper said. “I tried to take those two days off, and I got them, and now there’s time to rest it a little bit and be ready to go.”
Harper has made a mockery of the Sally League thus far, batting .330/.429/.586 with 14 homers, 13 stolen bases and a 1.014 OPS in his first pro season.
What happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object? Just ask Javier Baez, who tracked down a sizzling 106-MPH ground ball from Jose Bautista on Friday afternoon. The defensive gem helped preserve the Cubs’ three-run lead in the top of the ninth inning, paving the way for Wade Davis‘ 25th save of the season.
Baez also impressed at the plate, collecting an RBI single in the second inning before getting tagged out at home by Miguel Montero on a convoluted 9-6-3-6-2 putout. He returned in the eighth inning to pester Tim Mayza and cleared the left field hedge with a 409-foot, two-run blast for his 20th home run of the year. With the win, the Cubs improved to 64-57 and now hold a scant 1.5-game lead over the Brewers in the NL Central.
The Dodgers have reinstated first baseman Adrian Gonzalez from the 60-day disabled list after his recovery from a herniated disc. To make room for him they have optioned Rob Segedin to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Gonzalez last played on June 11. Since then the Dodgers have gone an astounding 46-9, with shoe-in rookie of the year candidate Cody Bellinger handling first base duties and posting a .978 OPS. When Gonzalez went down he was hitting .255/.304/.339 and only one homer in 49 games.
It’ll be interesting to see what kind of playing time he gets going forward. The Dodgers, of course, have a comfortable lead in the NL West, so they could afford to allow Gonzalez to play a good bit to see if his bat sharpens up while simultaneously giving Bellinger, who has never played more than 137 games in a season, a bit of a breather. Beyond that, though, the Dodgers ain’t broke, so it’s hard to see why anyone would want to tinker with things.