The Home Run Derby roster is starting to take shape. Giancarlo Stanton and Miguel Sano have already been confirmed as participants. You can add two more to that list. Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge and catcher Gary Sanchez announced their participation on Monday via video:
Judge, of course, has set the baseball world on fire with his amazing first half. He’s hitting .327/.448/.687 with 27 home runs, 62 RBI, and 70 runs scored in 339 plate appearances. His on-base percentage, RBI, and runs scored are best in the American League while he leads all of baseball in homers, slugging percentage, OPS, and walks (58).
Sanchez is hitting .289/.378/.526 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 217 PA. It’s unfair that his numbers are being compared to A) his own ridiculous numbers in the second half last year; and B) Judge’s. Going by weighted on-base average (wOBA), the only catchers (min. 200 PA) hitting better than Sanchez’s .385 are Alex Avila (.423) and Buster Posey (.398).
The 2017 Home Run Derby will be held on Monday, July 10 at Marlins Park in Miami.
Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.
The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.
Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.
As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:
Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.
Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.
Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.