Dontrelle Willis is in the best shape of his life

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Boy, it’s a rare treat to get a BSOHL story in July, but we have one! It’s Dontrelle Willis, who was scratched from his start down at AAA Louisville yesterday. The speculation was that he was going to get called up to Cincinnati to fill in for Bronson Arroyo, who was complaining of dizziness, but it seems Arroyo is better now.

Willis is good too: he has a 2.63 ERA in 13 starts and — key for him — he has a 3.35 K/BB ratio, suggesting that he may have a handle on what has been ailing him these past few years.

But the real story here are the words of Willis’ agent, Matt Sosnick, who puts us in mind of spring training with his assessment of his client’s state of health:

“I feel strongly that he has turned the corner.  He’s in the best shape of his career and is throwing with the highest velocity he’s ever had.  I feel very confident that he will be an impact player in the Major Leagues this year and for many years to come.”

All that’s missing for perfection is something about how Willis has been working on a new pitch.

(thanks to Hannah for the heads up)

Here are the final All-Star voting results before the close of balloting

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All-Star voting ends this Thursday night, just before midnight eastern time. The All-Star teams — at least how they’ll appear before the dozen or two substitutions we’ll get before the game — will be unveiled on Sunday at 7pm on ESPN, just before Sunday Night Baseball.

Which means you still have time to alter these standings, which now stand as the final update before things are set in, well, not stone, but at least some Play-Doh which has been left out of the can too long and is kinda hard to mess with.

NATIONAL LEAGUE

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Javier Baez made a couple of fantastic plays last night

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Javier Baez is a second baseman. He’s played a good bit of shortstop and, if he played for some other teams, he may be an everyday shortstop, but he’s the Cubs’ second baseman.

With Addision Russell out with some shoulder issues, however, Baez got the call at short last night for the Cubs-Nats game in Washington. It was a good call, as he made a couple of spectacular plays in the field.

First up is this highway robbery of Bryce Harper, who thought he had a base hit. It was a good thought, too, as he hit the ball like a dang rocket:

Later, when Adam Lind was up to bat, he fouled one off behind third base. Baez got on his horse and did this:

That inspired Cubs broadcaster Len Kasper to use the old line the great Harry Kalas used about Garry Maddox: “Two-thirds of the Earth is covered by water, the other one-third is covered by Garry Maddox.” It’s a great line, and aptly used to describe Javier Baez’s Monday night.