Good news for people who like fun things. According to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is considering selecting Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig for the Home Run Derby on July 14 at Target Field. Tulowitzki is the captain for the National League squad and will pick four players to join him in the competition.
“He’s on the list,” Tulowitzki said. “He’s someone that has a good chance. I’m not going to sit here and say he’s one of the guys I’m going to select, but he’s right up there with the top.”
Tulowitzki spoke highly of Puig’s raw power.
“I think, as you guys from L.A. know, he has tremendous power,” Tulowitzki said. “I’ve seen his BP a couple times. He’s definitely on my list. I’ll probably talk to him here in this series, first of all, see if he’s interested, which, hopefully, he is and we’ll go from there.”
Puig has said he would take part in the competition if he’s invited by Tulowitzki.
This would be awesome, though we would likely have to put up with lengthy delays between swings on account of all the bat-flipping. Still, I think most of us can live with that if that means Puig will participate. Giancarlo Stanton, who leads the National League with 21 homers, is already on board.
On a somewhat related note, Puig hasn’t homered since way back on May 28.
We learned on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu won one of the final two spots in the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Brandon McCarthy has won the other, Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register reports. Alex Wood was McCarthy’s competitor for the spot.
McCarthy, 33, posted a 4.85 ERA across four appearances spanning 13 innings this spring, yielding seven earned runs on 14 hits and a walk with seven strikeouts. Wood, a southpaw, gave up five earned runs in six innings against the Reds on Tuesday, which might have factored into the decision.
Last season, McCarthy made nine starts and one relief appearance, posting a 4.95 ERA with a 44/26 K/BB ratio in 40 innings. In the event McCarthy falters, the club has Wood as well as Julio Urias and the injured Scott Kazmir as potential replacements.
The Yankees have re-signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, George A. King III of the New York Post reports. Niese was released on Sunday, but he’ll stick around and provide rotation depth for the Yankees.
Niese had knee surgery last August and got a late start to spring training as a result. In six spring appearances lasting an inning each, the lefty gave up three earned runs on five hits and a walk with five strikeouts.
Niese, a veteran of nine seasons, put up an aggregate 5.50 ERA with an 88/47 K/BB ratio in 121 innings last season between the Pirates and Mets.