Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that Mariners reliever Fernando Rodney will replace David Price on the American League All-Star team. Price was scratched from tonight’s start due to an illness, but hopes to pitch on Sunday, the final game before the All-Star break. If Price happens to start tomorrow, he would have had the option to pitch one inning maximum in the All-Star Game. He’s chosen to give up his spot.
Rosenthal notes that the selection of Rodney is curious, given that he was not one of the five finalists on the American League Final Vote, which was wrapped up on Thursday. Chris Sale won over Garrett Richards, Corey Kluber, Dallas Keuchel, and Rick Porcello. In particular, Rosenthal suggests Richards would have been a better selection.
A look at Price, Rodney, and Richards statistically:
- Price: 3.42 ERA, 139 2/3 innings, 159/20 K/BB (leads the league in strikeouts)
- Rodney: 1.98 ERA, 36 1/3 innings, 42/12 K/BB, 27 saves (leads league)
- Richards: 2.55 ERA, 123 1/3 innings, 127/43 K/BB (leads the league with an .846 winning percentage)
Rays’ right fielder Steven Souza Jr. left Saturday’s game after getting hit on the left hand by a pitch from Blue Jays’ right-hander Joe Biagini in the seventh inning. The pitch appeared to hit the top of Souza Jr.’s hand, causing the outfielder to crumple at the plate and requiring assistance from assistant athletic trainer Paul Harker as he exited the field. Postgame reports from the Tampa Bay Times’ Marc Topkin revealed that Souza Jr. sustained a left hand contusion and is scheduled to undergo further evaluation on Sunday.
While the diagnosis isn’t as bad as it could be, it’s still a tough break for the right fielder, who missed 40 days of the 2015 season after sustaining a fracture in his left hand on another hit by pitch. The team has yet to announce any concrete timetable for Souza Jr.’s return, though manager Kevin Cash indicated that they’ll be taking things day to day for the time being.
Souza Jr. is batting .326/.398/.543 with four home runs and 17 RBI through 104 PA in 2017. He went 1-for-2 with a base hit and a walk prior to his departure during Saturday’s 4-1 loss.
It’s been a slow start to the season for Yankees’ outfielder Brett Gardner, who entered Saturday’s matinee against the Orioles with a .188/.316/.234 batting line, three doubles and five stolen bases in his first 76 PA of the year. That all changed in the first inning of Saturday’s game, when Gardner skied a leadoff home run to right field:
Orioles’ right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez couldn’t find his footing against the Yankees in the second inning, either. Gardner returned for his second home run of the season, a three-run shot to lift New York 5-0 over Baltimore:
Measured at 411 feet in the right field bullpen, the left fielder’s blast marked the seventh home run hit by a Yankee this series. According to the club’s PR department, it’s also the first multi-home run game Gardner has recorded since September 2015. The Yankees currently lead the Orioles 7-0 through four innings.