Something that lasts entirely too long and the Yankees and Red Sox are involved? This sounds familiar.
Robinson Cano was just crowned the winner of the Home Run Derby, topping Adrian Gonzalez 12-11 in the finals. Of course, Cano owes a big-time assist to his father and former Astros pitcher Jose Cano, who served up all of his 32 home runs for the evening. While this event has many, many faults, the final was actually a pretty cool showcase.
No surprise, the left-handed hitters had the edge in Chase Field tonight. None of the four right-handed batters made it through the first round. Matt Holliday had five homers (and was eliminated in a swing-off), MLB home run leader Jose Bautista slugged four, Rickie Weeks had three and Matt Kemp managed only a pair.
Prince Fielder, who received plenty of boos from the Arizona crowd for not including Justin Upton in the competition, was the only member of the National League squad to make it into the second round. And he needed a swing-off to get there. The American League outpaced the National League 76-19 on the evening. Yikes.
Cano and Gonzalez advanced to the finals by collecting 20 homers over the first two rounds. They beat out David Ortiz and Fielder, who had nine apiece over the first two rounds.
And with that, let’s never speak of this again.
For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League East
Boston may have the most talent and, in Mookie Betts, the best player. The Yankees have the best farm system. Baltimore has all the dingers and the best closer. Toronto may have the best collection of heels, at least in the view of fans of the other AL East teams. The Rays have the best . . . hmm. I’ll get back to you on that.
Anyway, here are our previews for the American League East:
Boston Red Sox
Toronto Blue Jays
New York Yankees
Tampa Bay Rays
Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.
On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.