David Ortiz

David Ortiz, Prince Fielder to serve as Home Run Derby captains

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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.

Video: Jarrod Dyson becomes the first in Marlins Park history to rob a home run

SURPRISE, AZ - FEBRUARY 25:  Jarrod Dyson #1 of the Kansas City Royals poses for a portrait during spring training photo day at Surprise Stadium on February 25, 2016 in Surprise, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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Marlins Park has been around since 2012, but coming into Thursday’s action, the ballpark hadn’t seen any player rob a home run. Royals outfielder Jarrod Dyson changed that in Thursday night’s series finale in Miami.

Christian Yelich smoked a 1-2 slider that Edinson Volquez left up in the zone, hitting what looked like a solo home run to straightaway center field. Dyson gave chase, timed his leap, and snagged the ball in spectacular fashion to save a run on Volquez’s behalf.

The Statcast numbers are pretty impressive:

Indeed, Dyson’s snag is the first home run robbery at Marlins Park, according to ESPN Stats & Info.

Mets are considering pushing back Jacob deGrom’s next start

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 18: Jacob deGrom #48 of the New York Mets pitches against the San Francisco Giants during the first inning at AT&T Park on August 18, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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The Mets are concerned with starter Jacob deGrom and are considering pushing back his next start, MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo reports. The club thinks the right-hander is fatigued.

deGrom, 28, has had another strong season, currently standing with a 2.96 ERA and a 137/32 K/BB ratio in 143 innings. However, he’s battled command issues in his last two starts. Against the Giants and Cardinals, he gave up a combined 13 earned runs on 25 hits and three walks with eight strikeouts in nine and two-thirds innings.

The Mets are already without Steven Matz, Zach Wheeler, Matt Harvey, and Jon Niese. deGrom’s recent bout is just the latest in what has been a season-long starting pitching struggle for the club. Nevertheless, only the Cubs (2.85) and Nationals (3.57) have posted a better aggregate starting pitching ERA than the Mets’ 3.66.