Not interested in tonight’s big college football game between LSU and Alabama? Fortunately there’s also some baseball on the tube. Some of the game’s best prospects will be on hand for tonight’s Rising Stars Game in the Arizona Fall League, which will be broadcast live on MLB Network and MLB.com at 8 p.m. ET.
The main attraction will be 2010 No. 1 overall pick Bryce Harper, who has made a mockery of AFL pitching in recent days, but tonight’s game is also a showcase for the first two picks of this year’s First-Year Player Draft. The hard-throwing Gerrit Cole, who was selected first overall by the Pirates in June, will make the start for the East team while Mariners prospect left-hander Danny Hultzen gets the call for the West.
Below are your lineups for tonight. Some other names of note include Angels’ outfielder Mike Trout and Royals’ prospect outfielder Wil Myers.
Rising Stars East lineup: RF – Robbie Grossman (Pirates), CF – Mike Trout (Angels), SS – Junior Lake (Cubs), 3B – Nolan Arenado (Rockies), DH – Bryce Harper (Nationals), C – Derek Norris (Nationals), 1B – Ben Paulsen (Rockies), 2B – Brian Dozier (Twins), LF – Tim Wheeler (Rockies)
Rising Stars West lineup: CF – Kevin Mattison (Marlins), SS – Nick Franklin (Mariners), RF – Wil Myers (Royals), 3B – Mike Olt (Rangers) , DH – Michael Choice (Athletics), 1B – Joey Terdoslavich, LF (Braves) – Jaff Decker (Padres), C – Christian Bethancourt (Braves), 2B – Christian Colon (Royals)
Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton really likes May 4. May the fourth is “Star Wars Day” for the obvious, punny reason.
While he was doing his normal workouts, Stanton donned a Chewbacca mask, then dodged imaginary lasers and fired back at his imaginary enemies. Who knew Chewy was so buff?
Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen had trouble coming up with an Anthony Rizzo line drive in the top of the third inning. The ball seemed to curve at the last minute, clanking off of McCutchen’s glove, setting up first and third with two outs for the Cubs. McCutchen was sacked with an error. Ben Zobrist then cranked out a three-run home run off of starter Juan Nicasio to put the Cubs up 3-0.
Per Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, McCutchen said after the game, “Whoever scored that an error should be fired. That’s unbelievable. I did everything I could to catch it.”
Here’s the video. Rule 9.12(a) in baseball’s official rules states:
(a) The official scorer shall charge an error against any fielder:
(1) whose misplay (fumble, muff or wild throw) prolongs the time at bat of a batter, prolongs the presence on the bases of a runner or permits a runner to advance one or more bases
Pretty cut and dried stuff here. It was an error.
Rangers 3B/OF Joey Gallo will miss three to four weeks with a Grade 1 groin strain, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports.
Gallo, 22, has spent the season at Triple-A Round Rock, where he’s hit a productive .254/.400/.642 with seven home runs and 16 RBI in 85 plate appearances. Gallo was at times impressive in 123 plate appearances with the Rangers last year, but the club felt he needed some more work on his plate discipline, as he struck out 57 times in 123 PA at the big league level in 2015. At Triple-A this year, Gallo has drawn 17 walks and struck out 21 times.
Assuming he heals as expected from the injury, Gallo should join the Rangers at some point during the summer.
Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy flirted with the cycle in Wednesday afternoon’s 13-2 drubbing of the Royals, as he went 4-for-5 with a pair of singles, a two-run double, and a solo home run. That brings his triple-slash line on the season up to .398/.449/.663. Comparatively, teammate Bryce Harper — the defending NL MVP and arguably the best player in baseball — is currently hitting .266/.372/.649.
Murphy has always been an above-average hitter, but this level of hitting is something else. Of course, he flashed it in the post-season last year when he homered in six consecutive games, helping the Mets advance past the Dodgers in the NLDS and sweep the Cubs in the NLCS.
The Nats signed Murphy to a three-year, $37.5 million contract in January. If Neil Walker, acquired from the Pirates to replace Murphy, wasn’t hitting so well, the Mets would probably be jealous. Walker is hitting .296/.330/.582 with nine home runs and 19 RBI.