Apparently looking to add some interest for the Home Run Derby festivities, MLB today announced David Ortiz and Prince Fielder as captains for the event to be held the Monday before the All-Star Game.
Ortiz, the 2010 champion, and Fielder, the 2009 champ, will each get to pick their three teammates for the contest. Not limited to only selecting fellow All-Stars, Ortiz can choose anyone in the AL and Fielder anyone in the NL.
Whether it makes for a better Derby or not, the act of choosing should create more interest leading up to the event. It seems like a given that Ortiz will pick Jose Bautista as a teammate, leaving him two spots for Mark Teixeira, Miguel Cabrera or perhaps Red Sox teammate Adrian Gonzalez . But what about Josh Hamilton? Or maybe he could irk Teixeira by picking Curtis Granderson instead?
Will Fielder call on Mike Stanton even though the 21-year-old slugger probably won’t make the All-Star roster? Matt Kemp seems likely to get one spot, but no one else stands out. Stanton is certainly as promising a choice as any.
In any event, MLB actually has me thinking about the Home Run Derby for the first time in several years. So, I guess that makes this a pretty good idea.
The Yankees have activated shortstop Didi Gregorius from the 10-day disabled list, the club announced on Friday. Infielder Pete Kozma was designated for assignment to clear roster space.
Gregorius, 27, suffered a strained right shoulder while playing in the World Baseball Classic last month. He’s in Friday’s starting lineup, batting sixth against the Orioles.
Last season, Gregorius hit .276/.304/.447 with 20 home runs and 70 RBI in 597 plate appearances.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Mets will place outfielder Yoenis Cespedes on the 10-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring. Cespedes left Thursday’s game after suffering the injury running the bases.
Things keep going poorly for the Mets, who are in last place in the NL East with an 8-13 record. Cespedes will join a lengthy list of names in the infirmary, including David Wright, Lucas Duda, Wilmer Flores, Steven Matz, Seth Lugo, and Noah Syndergaard.
Cespedes is batting a very productive .270/.373/.619 with six home runs and 10 RBI through his first 75 plate appearances.
With Cespedes out, Michael Conforto should be cemented as an everyday player and Juan Lagares will handle center field with Granderson moving back to right field and Jay Bruce covering first base.