Literally hundreds of players will be placed on waivers this month and a high percentage of them will go unclaimed, making them eligible to be traded.
According to Jayson Stark of ESPN.com Johnny Damon is one of those players, as Tampa Bay successfully passed the left fielder/designated hitter through waivers unclaimed.
Stark notes that the Rays didn’t draw much interest in Damon before the July 31 deadline, but he might become a little more attractive to teams as the pool of available players shrinks.
Of course, his production is also shrinking, as Damon has hit just .262 with nine homers in 108 games for a .704 OPS that ranks as his worst since 2001. At age 37 he certainly fits the “veteran bat” mold that some teams seek, but Damon is 21-for-102 (.206) with zero homers in 25 games since the All-Star break.
At this point the Rays would probably be thrilled to get a mid-level prospect for him.
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.