2014 Futures Game rosters announced

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The 2014 Futures Game will, for the 16th year, pit some of the game’s top prospects against one another in a “United States vs. The World” format. Major League Baseball just announced the rosters.

Here’s the United States team:

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Here’s The World:

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We’re not the biggest prospect hounds around here, but there are certainly some recognizable names. Mookie Betts. Noah Syndergaard. Joey Gallo. Christian Bethancourt. Francisco Lindor. Major League Baseball’s press release highlighted the U.S. team’s Kris Bryant, who was the second overall selection of the 2013 Draft, and the World Team’s Javier Baez, who was the ninth overall pick of the 2011 Draft. Both of them play in the Cubs’ organization, so viva Chicago. I’m sure, however, you will recognize some of your favorite team’s promising young gentlemen.

There are 15 former first round draft picks, six players picked in Compensation Round and five second round picks. For the World Team, the Dominican Republic is represented by nine players, followed by Puerto Rico with seven, Venezuela with three and Colombia with two.  Canada, Cuba, Mexico and Panama each have one player on the World Team. The seven for Puerto Rico are the most they’ve had in over a decade, which I’m sure Major League Baseball will publicize given their recent efforts and trying to build the talent pipeline from Puerto Rico.

The game is at 5pm on the Sunday before the All-Star Game.

 

Dusty Baker expects Stephen Strasburg to make his next scheduled start

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Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg lasted only two innings in Sunday’s start against the Diamondbacks. The right-hander reportedly had trouble getting loose and it showed: he yielded a hit and three walks to the 10 batters he faced. According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Strasburg had “some nerve impingement that has been alleviated.”

Manager Dusty Baker expects Strasburg to make his next scheduled start on Saturday at home against the Rockies, Chelsea Janes of the Washington Post reports. Strasburg was examined by doctors, who deemed him to be in good shape — enough to not warrant undergoing an MRI.

Through 20 starts, Strasburg owns a 3.25 ERA with a 141/37 K/BB ratio across 121 2/3 innings. Though the injury scare isn’t what the Nationals hoped for, he’s done well in the first year of his seven-year, $175 million contract extension.

John Lackey hit four White Sox batters today

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Cubs starter John Lackey didn’t have his best stuff on Tuesday afternoon at Wrigley Field against the White Sox. The right-hander hit four White Sox batters over the course of five innings. He yielded just two runs, though, on five hits and two walks with five strikeouts. He left with a 4-2 lead.

Lackey hit Jose Abreu with one out in the first inning, then hit Abreu again in the fifth. He then hit Matt Davidson and Yoan Moncada shortly thereafter. Chris Beck relieved Carlos Rodon for the White Sox in the bottom of the fifth and promptly hit Ian Happ with a fastball to lead off the frame. Home plate umpire Lance Barksdale issued warnings to both benches and the beanings stopped.

So, how often do pitchers hit four batters in a game? Not that often! The last to do it was the Reds’ Josh Smith on July 4, 2015 against the Brewers. Before that, it was the Nationals’ Livan Hernandez on July 20, 2005 against the Rockies. Lackey is only the ninth pitcher to hit four batters in a game since 2000 and the 26th since 1913. The only other Cubs pitcher to do it besides Lackey was Moe Drabowsky in 1957.