Jose Bautista

The 2014 All-Star rosters have been announced

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Here are your starters for each league in the 2014 All-Star Game, held at Target Field in Minnesota on July 15.

American League Position Players

  • C: Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals (replacing Matt Wieters, Baltimore Orioles due to injury)
  • 1B: Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers
  • 2B: Robinson Cano, Seattle Mariners
  • 3B: Josh Donaldson, Oakland Athletics
  • SS: Derek Jeter, New York Yankees
  • OF: Jose Bautista, Toronto Blue Jays
  • OF: Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels of Anahem
  • OF: Adam Jones, Baltimore Orioles
  • DH: Nelson Cruz, Baltimore Orioles

Jose Bautista was the leading vote-getter in the AL with 5.85 million. Trout had the second-most with 5.56 million.

[ MORE: Chris Sale, Anthony Rizzo among those on All-Star game Final Vote list ]

Nothing too shocking here. Jose Abreu and Edwin Encarnacion were also worthy candidates at first base. One could argue that Ian Kinsler and Jose Altuve were both better starting options at second base. Donaldson was snubbed last season, so it’s good to see him get some respect this season. Obviously, Jeter got the starting nod in his final season before heading off into retirement. In any other season, Alcides Escobar or Erick Aybar get the starting spot at short. The outfield was quite crowded, but it’s hard to argue with those three. Maybe Michael Brantley over Jones.

National League Position Players

  • C: Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals
  • 1B: Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks
  • 2B: Chase Utley, Philadelphia Phillies
  • 3B: Aramis Ramirez, Milwaukee Brewers
  • SS: Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado Rockies
  • OF: Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates
  • OF: Carlos Gomez, Milwaukee Brewers
  • OF: Yasiel Puig, Los Angeles Dodgers

Troy Tulowitzki got the most votes in the NL, with 5.35 million.

Brewers fans won’t be happy with Molina starting over Jonathan Lucroy, given recent history. Can’t argue with Goldschmidt at first. Utley was by far the best second baseman over the first two months, but has slumped terribly over the last six weeks, so his numbers are comparable to the rest of the top NL second basemen. Todd Frazier has been the best third baseman in the NL, but not by enough where it’s a travesty that Ramirez got the nod over him. Giancarlo Stanton is an obvious omission in the starting outfield, but he was told he’ll be the NL’s starting DH.

The pitchers and reserves:

American League Pitchers

  • Yu Darvish, Texas Rangers
  • Max Scherzer, Detroit Tigers
  • Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners
  • Masahiro Tanaka, New York Yankees
  • Jon Lester, Boston Red Sox
  • David Price, Tampa Bay Rays
  • Scott Kazmir, Oakland Athletics
  • Mark Buehrle, Toronto Blue Jays

 

  • Sean Doolittle, Oakland Athletics
  • Greg Holland, Kansas City Royals
  • Glen Perkins, Minnesota Twins
  • Dellin Betances, New York Yankees

Chris Sale is a notable omission, though he has only logged 87 1/3 innings this season due to injury. Garrett Richards, Corey Kluber, Dallas Keuchel, Sonny Gray, Rick Porcello, and Chris Archer are all on the cusp. You’ll see some of them in the Final Vote. Manager John Farrell will have a tough choice deciding who to start.

There are a ton of deserving relievers but only four spots, so it’s tough to hate the selections. Koji Uehara, Fernando Rodney, and David Robertson are three of a bushel of American League relievers who deserve recognition.

National League Pitchers

  • Johnny Cueto, Cincinnati Reds
  • Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Zack Greinke, Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco Giants
  • Adam Wainwright, St. Louis Cardinals
  • Tyson Ross, San Diego Padres
  • Jordan Zimmermann, Washington Nationals
  • Julio Teheran, Atlanta Braves
  • Jeff Samardzija, Chicago Cubs (now with the Oakland Athletics; will be inactive for the All-Star Game)

 

  • Craig Kimbrel, Atlanta Braves
  • Aroldis Chapman, Cincinnati Reds
  • Tony Watson, Pittsburgh Pirates
  • Francisco Rodriguez, Milwaukee Brewers
  • Pat Neshek, St. Louis Cardinals

A few deserving NL starters were left out: Henderson Alvarez, Josh Beckett, Tim Hudson, Cole Hamels, Madison Bumgarner. On the relieving side, Huston Street, Rafael Soriano, and Jonathan Papelbon are on the outside looking in despite fantastic seasons as their respective teams’ closers.

American League Reserves

  • C: Derek Norris, Oakland Athletics
  • C: Kurt Suzuki, Minnesota Twins
  • 1B: Edwin Encarnacion, Toronto Blue Jays (injured yesterday, likely to be replaced)
  • 1B: Brandon Moss, Oakland Athletics
  • 1B: Jose Abreu, Chicago White Sox
  • 2B: Jose Altuve, Houston Astros
  • 3B: Adrian Beltre, Texas Rangers
  • SS: Alexei Ramirez, Chicago White Sox
  • OF: Michael Brantley, Cleveland Indians
  • OF: Yoenis Cespedes, Oakland Athletics
  • OF: Alex Gordon, Kansas City Royals
  • DH: Victor Martinez, Detroit Tigers

National League Reserves

  • C: Jonathan Lucroy, Milwaukee Brewers
  • C: Devin Mesoraco, Cincinnati Reds
  • 1B: Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves
  • 2B: Dee Gordon, Los Angeles Dodgers
  • 2B: Daniel Murphy, New York Mets
  • 3B: Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals
  • 3B: Todd Frazier, Cincinnati Reds
  • SS: Starlin Castro, Chicago Cubs
  • OF: Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins
  • OF: Josh Harrison, Pittsburgh Pirates
  • OF: Hunter Pence, San Francisco Giants
  • OF: Charlie Blackmon, Colorado Rockies

Joe Panik says he’s “100 percent” recovered from back injury

San Francisco Giants second baseman Joe Panik follows through on a single off Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Scott Oberg in the eighth inning of Game 1 of a baseball doubleheader Saturday, May 23, 2015, in Denver. The Giants won 10-8. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
AP Photo/David Zalubowski
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Giants second baseman Joe Panik missed nearly all of August and September last season due to a nagging back injury, but he told Alex Pavlovic of CSNBayArea.com on Friday that he’s feeling “100 percent.”

Panik, who earned his first All-Star selection last season, originally landed on the disabled list in early August due to what was described as lower back inflammation. He made his return in September, but appeared in just three games before being shut down. The good news is that he was cleared by doctors in mid-December and considers himself “back to normal.”

“It was right around the time of all the signings,” he said, smiling. “I was able to fly under the radar. I got tested and everything had healed up. I got cleared and was able to have my full offseason workouts. I’m good to go. I’m happy to be feeling good and going back out on the field to show that I’m healthy. My swing feels strong.”

Panik altered his offseason workout routine and plans to spend less time in his spikes in the early part of spring training. The hope is that these changes will prevent future issues.

After a strong showing as a rookie in 2014, the 25-year-old Panik proved to be one of the best second baseman in the majors last season by batting .312/.378/.455 with eight home runs and 37 RBI over 100 games while playing solid defense.

Baseball America names Corey Seager as baseball’s top prospect

Los Angeles Dodgers' Corey Seager follows through a single that scored Austin Barnes, in front of Colorado Rockies' Wilin Rosario during the sixth inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2015, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok)
AP Photo/Danny Moloshok
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Baseball America unveiled their top 100 prospect list Friday night during a special on MLB Network. It should come as no surprise that Dodgers infielder Corey Seager came in at No. 1.

This makes Seager the consensus top prospect in the game. He was also ranked first by MLB.com, Baseball Prospectus, and ESPN’s Keith Law. Twins outfielder Byron Buxton was ranked second on all four lists.

Baseball America has the most aggressive ranking of Cuban infielder Yoan Moncada from the Red Sox, who checked in at No. 3. He was followed by pitching prospects Lucas Giolito from the Nationals and Julio Urias from the Dodgers to round out the top five.

You can see Baseball America’s full top 100 list here.

Jenrry Mejia: “It is not like they say. I am sure that I did not use anything.”

New York Mets' Jenrry Mejia reacts after getting the last out against the Milwaukee Brewers during the ninth inning of a baseball game Friday, July 25, 2014, in Milwaukee. The Mets won 3-2. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)
AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps
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Mets reliever Jenrry Mejia was permanently suspended on Friday after testing positive for a third time for a performance-enhancing drug. The right-hander is maintaining his innocence, as ESPN’s Adam Rubin notes in quoting Dominican sports journalist Hector Gomez. Mejia said, “It is not like they say. I am sure that I did not use anything.”

Mejia has the opportunity to petition commissioner Rob Manfred in one year for reinstatement to Major League Baseball. However, he must sit out at least two years before becoming eligible to pitch in the majors again, which would mean Mejia would be 28 years old.

Over parts of five seasons, Mejia has a career 3.68 ERA with 162 strikeouts and 76 walks over 183 1/3 innings. He was once a top prospect in the Mets’ minor league system and a top-100 overall prospect heading into the 2010 and ’11 seasons.

Bryce Harper on potential $400 million contract: “Don’t sell me short.”

Bryce Harper
AP Photo/Nick Wass
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Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper is at least three years away from free agency, but people are already contemplating just how large a contract the phenom will be able to negotiate, especially after taking home the National League Most Valuable Player Award for his performance this past season.

When the likes of David Price and Zack Greinke are signing for over $200 million at the age of 30 or older, it stands to reason that Harper could draw more as a 26-year-old if he can maintain MVP-esque levels of production over the next several seasons. $400 million might not be enough for Harper, though, as MLB.com’s Jamal Collier reports. He said, “Don’t sell me short,” which is a fantastic response.

During the 2015 season, Harper led the majors with a .460 on-base percentage and a .649 slugging percentage while leading the National League with 42 home runs and 118 runs scored. He also knocked in 99 runs for good measure. Harper and Ted Williams are the only hitters in baseball history to put up an adjusted OPS of 195 or better (100 is average) at the age of 22 or younger.