Both David Ortiz and Prince Fielder called on teammates to help them out in next Monday’s Home Run Derby. In Fielder’s case, though, it’ll be Rickie Weeks, not Ryan Braun, trying to aid the cause.
With Braun saying he wasn’t interested, it will be Fiedler, Weeks, Matt Kemp and Matt Holliday for the NL squad. The AL will be represented by Ortiz, Adrian Gonzalez, Jose Bautista and Robinson Cano.
Mark Teixeira turned down the spot that went to Cano.
Holliday got the nod over Lance Berkman, a three-time participant who is currently tied for the NL lead in homers with Kemp. They have 22 apiece, one more than Fielder. Weeks has 15, while Holliday has a modest 10 in 61 games.
Besides Berkman, overlooked for the team was Jay Bruce, who ranks fourth in the league with 18 homers, and young slugger Mike Stanton. Stanton wasn’t scheduled to go to Phoenix, but Marlins teammate and All-Star Gaby Sanchez lobbied for him anyway.
The AL foursome has 74 homers to the NL’s 68 this season. Bautista leads the majors with 27 homers. However, none of the other five American Leaguers with at least 20 homers (Teixeira, Curtis Granderson, Paul Konerko, Mark Reynolds and Nelson Cruz) made the cut. Ortiz has 17 homers, Gonzalez 16 and Cano 14.
Giants ace left-hander Madison Bumgarner has been diagnosed with a fractured left hand, per a report from Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. He’ll undergo surgery on Saturday to insert pins in his pinky knuckle, adds The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly, and is expected miss anywhere from 4-6 weeks in recovery before he’s cleared to throw again. In a best-case scenario, the lefty will be ready to pitch again before the All-Star break, but nothing is set in stone just yet.
Bumgarner suffered the fracture during the third inning of Friday’s Cactus League game against the Royals. Whit Merrifield returned a line drive up the middle and the ball deflected off the top of Bumgarner’s pitching hand before bouncing into the infield. He chased after the ball but was unable to pick it up, and was immediately visited by manager Bruce Bochy and a team trainer before exiting the game.
The 28-year-old southpaw was gearing up for a massive comeback after losing significant playing time with an injury in 2017. During his tumultuous run with the Giants last year, he missed nearly three months on the disabled list after spraining his shoulder and bruising his ribs in a dirt bike accident. He finished the season with a 4-9 record in 17 starts and a 3.32 ERA (his first 3.00+ ERA since 2012), 1.6 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 over 111 innings. The Giants suffered as well; by season’s end, their pitching staff ranked seventh-worst in the National League with a cumulative 4.58 ERA and 10.1 fWAR.
This is the second massive injury the Giants’ rotation has sustained this week after right-hander Jeff Samardzija was diagnosed with a strained pectoral muscle on Thursday. “Horrible news for us,” Bochy told reporters after Friday’s game. “That’s all you can say about it. There’s nothing you can do but push on.”