Major League Baseball announces game times for the 2014 schedule

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Since the ESPN Sunday Night games were announced earlier today, you had to figure that the rest of the schedule — as far as game times — would fall in line later in the day. And they just fell in line. Among the details:

  • The opening series in Sydney, Australia between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Los Angeles Dodgers will take place on Saturday, March 22nd at 7pm Sydney time.  That means midnight in L.A. and Phoenix, 3AM back east. Which, yes, is inconvenient for some of us, but the point is to bring baseball to Australians, not satisfy people in Ohio, so there’s not a valid complaint there. Not that it will stop people from complaining. The Sunday game will be at 6pm Pacific and 9pm Eastern.
  • On Sunday, March 30th, the non-Australian portion of the season will begin with the San Diego Padres hosting the Dodgers at 8:05 Eastern, 5:05 Pacific.
  • Thirteen games will be played on traditional Opening Day on Monday, March 31st.  The first full slate of 15 games will be played on Wednesday, April 2nd.
  • The final day of the 2014 regular season, which features 12 divisional match-ups, is scheduled for Sunday, September 28th.

Go check your team’s schedule for all of the specific game times, as they should be loaded in there now.

Play ball. Eventually, anyway.

Kris Bryant exits game with sprained right ankle

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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.

Miguel Sano will participate in the 2017 Home Run Derby

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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.