Aaron Judge is the top vote-getter in the All-Star balloting so far and, obviously, he and his moonshot home runs are the biggest story of the first half of the season. Not surprisingly, then, he was extended an invitation to the Home Run Derby.
Will he do it? He’s not sure:
“Haven’t decided yet. I’ll think about it for a while and see what we do . . . Just more focused on what I can do for the team right now.”
He’s probably wanting to get the OK from Yankees brass, seeing as how some teams have had kind of an uneasy feeling about their sluggers participating in the past. There’s a notion out there, less so now than there used to be, that participating in the Home Run Derby messes up power hitters. That’s generally been debunked, but it still holds to some degree.
I suspect Judge will participate, especially seeing as though he’ll be down in Miami for the All-Star Game itself. If so, we should expect a show. His power is prodigious and his BP homers are McGwire-eseque. He’ll probably put on a tremendous show.
Update (12:58 AM ET): Per Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, Samardzija has been diagnosed with a strained pectoral muscle. He’ll be shut down for a week. That’s good news for the Giants, considering the alternatives.
Giants starter Jeff Samardzija will undergo an MRI on his ailing right shoulder, according to NBC Sports Bay Area. The right-hander struggled in a minor league game on Wednesday, surrendering a pair of home runs and hitting a batter. Overall this spring, Samardzija has given up 15 runs (13 earned) on 17 hits (six homers) and seven walks with seven strikeouts in 11 innings.
This may mean Samardzija won’t be ready for the start of the regular season. Derek Holland would likely replace Samardzija in the rotation. Holland had been competing for the No. 5 spot in the Giants’ rotation.
Samardzija led the National League in losses last season with 15, also posting a 4.42 ERA with a 205/32 K/BB ratio in a league-high 207 2/3 innings. Since becoming a starter, Samardzija has been able to avoid injury, making 32 or 33 starts in each of the last five seasons.