Rafael Furcal wrapped up his minor league rehab assignment last night with High-A Rancho Cucamonga and is slated to rejoin the Dodgers as soon as tomorrow. There’s nothing official yet, but Matt Stevens of the Los Angeles Times writes that all signs point to rookie shortstop Dee Gordon being sent back to Triple-A Albuquerque.
“We’ll make that decision on Sunday,” Mattingly said about what Furcal’s return could mean for Gordon. “It is a decision we will make when we have to make it. [General Manager] Ned [Colletti] and I haven’t really even talked about it at this point.”
Furcal has been on the disabled list since the first week of June with an oblique injury. The Dodgers briefly discussed moving him to second base to keep Gordon on the major league roster, but Mattingly said last night that the idea has been shelved “for now.” Things could change if Furcal is eventually traded or more likely, if he suffers another injury. The 33-year-old shortstop has already been on the disabled list twice this season.
Gordon, 23, is batting .241/.259/.291 with a 16/2 K/BB ratio over his first 82 major league plate appearances. While he has struggled at the plate, he is 8-for-10 in stolen base attempts. He was credited with two stolen bases in the seventh inning last night against the Angels, including a theft of home plate.
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.