A’s demote struggling starter Tyson Ross to Triple-A

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Tyson Ross began the season with back-to-back Quality Starts, but he’s gone just 1-6 with a 7.34 ERA since then and yesterday’s ugly outing versus the last-place Twins was apparently the final straw, as the A’s demoted the 25-year-old right-hander to Triple-A.

No corresponding roster move has been announced yet, but Yoenis Cespedes and Brandon McCarthy are both on the verge of returning from the disabled list and McCarthy figures to fill the empty rotation spot.

Ross has good raw stuff with a 92-mph fastball and sharp slider, but the 2008 second-round pick has yet to figure out big-league hitters. Since debuting in 2010 he’s made 17 starts and 27 relief appearances, throwing 122 total innings with a 4.86 ERA and 79/54 K/BB ratio. He’ll be back in Oakland soon enough, but Ross might be destined for the bullpen long term.

Giancarlo Stanton will defend his Home Run Derby title

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The Marlins announced on Sunday that outfielder Giancarlo Stanton will defend his Home Run Derby title when the city of Miami host’s the All-Star Game festivities next month.

Stanton, 27, defeated Todd Frazier in the finals of last year’s Home Run Derby at Petco Park, hitting 20 home runs to Frazier’s 13. Stanton hit a total of 61 home runs in the Derby. This will be the third Home Run Derby in which Stanton has participated.

Stanton also went 1-for-3 with a solo home run to help the Marlins defeat the Cubs 4-2 on Sunday. He’s now batting .274/.357/.551 with 20 home runs and 49 RBI in 311 plate appearances.

Aaron Hicks to go on the disabled list with an oblique injury

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Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks left Sunday’s game against the Rangers after four innings due to soreness in his right oblique. After the game, Hicks said he expects to go on the 10-day disabled list and miss the next three to four weeks, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports.

Hicks was 1-for-2 with a single before departing on Sunday. He entered the game batting .288/.397/.515 with 10 home runs and 37 RBI in 198 plate appearances. It is by far the best season of his career.

Jacoby Ellsbury is on his way back from a concussion, so the Yankees will only have to bridge the gap in center field for a week or two. Mason Williams could draw some starts in center field in the meantime.