Carlos Beltran will play for Puerto Rico in World Baseball Classic despite bruised toe

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Carlos Beltran suffered a bruised right toe Thursday when he was hit by a pitch in a Grapefruit League game and wondered aloud to reporters whether it might affect his ability to play for his native Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic. It won’t.

According to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Beltran is leaving Cardinals camp today to join up with his Puerto Rico teammates. He may be sidelined for the next few days, but the 35-year-old expects to be in the starting lineup when Puerto Rico opens pool play against Spain on Friday night.

Beltran hit .269/.346/.495 with 32 home runs and 97 RBI in 151 games last season for St. Louis. He is currently scheduled to become a free agent after the 2013 campaign.

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.