Pictured below is the 2015 Home Run Derby bracket, via MLB Communications …
Here’s a breakdown of the rules under this new Home Run Derby format, via our own Bill Baer …
It’s a bracket-style, single-elimination tournament in which the loser of each bracket is eliminated immediately. Seeding is based on 2015 home run totals as of July 7. Ties are broken by home runs hit since July 7, with the winner getting the higher seeding. The higher seed hits last.
Each batter gets five minutes per round, with the timer starting when the first pitch is thrown. Home runs hit during the final minute will stop the timer. The timer will not start again until hits a non-home run, or swings and misses.
Batters can attain bonus time. They can get one additional minute for hitting two home runs that equal or exceed 420 feet (as measured by MLB Advanced Media’s Statcast). A home run greater than or equal to 475 feet will result in 30 bonus seconds. The two bonuses are not mutually exclusive.
If two batters are tied at the end of a round, they’ll go into a 90-second swing-off. In a swing-off, the timer cannot stop for any reason and no bonus time can be claimed. Should a tie remain at the end of a swing-off, they’ll move into successive three-swing swing-offs until a winner is decided.
In any round, once the second batter (the “home” batter, for all intents and purposes) passes the first batter (“away”) in home runs, the round will be stopped and he will advance.
Each batter can use one 45-second time-out per round to collect his thoughts, take a breath, etc.
The hope is this format will help the event flow more efficiently and maintain a certain level of excitement. It has tended to drag on in years past. Watch the 2015 Home Run Derby live next Monday night on ESPN.
The participants in the 2015 MLB Home Run Derby at Cincinnati’s Great American Ball Park are being revealed live on Sportscenter at 6 p.m. ET. We’ll list all of the names here as they come out …
Anthony Rizzo, 1B, Cubs
Todd Frazier, 3B, Reds
Kris Bryant, 3B, Cubs
Joc Pederson, CF, Dodgers
Albert Pujols, 1B, Angels
Josh Donaldson, 3B, Blue Jays
Prince Fielder, 1B, Rangers
Manny Machado, 3B, Orioles
The event is July 13 — next Monday night. For a rundown of the new format, head here.
Via beat writer Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com …
Strasburg suffered the oblique strain Saturday in his start against the Giants. He had thrown 3 2/3 scoreless innings in that outing and was also sharp in his previous two starts since returning from a trapezius injury.
It’s been a frustrating season for Strasburg, to say the least. He owns a 5.16 ERA in 13 starts overall.
Todd Zolecki, the Phillies beat writer for MLB.com, shares the announcement …
It looks, at first glance, like another smart rebuilding move for the determined-to-rebuild Phils.
Oliver, a fourth-round pick in 2014 out of the University of Arkansas, has a 4.98 ERA, 1.81 WHIP, and 37/55 K/BB ratio in 86 2/3 career innings between rookie ball and Low-A. Taylor, a 22-year-old who went undrafted, has a 4.06 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, and 83/28 K/BB ratio in 77 2/3 innings between the very same levels.
These aren’t very enticing young pitchers, and now the Phillies have more flexibility on next year’s international market. This comes after the D’Backs included a top prospect in a salary dump. They’ve made some questionable moves so far under new GM Dave Stewart and chief baseball officer Tony La Russa.
Cardinals left-hander Jaime Garcia had to make an early exit from a start June 24 at Marlins Park after tweaking his left groin muscle. It was initially called a cramp, but he was unable to take his next scheduled turn and now the Cards have placed him on the 15-day disabled list with a left groin strain.
Tim Cooney will remain in the St. Louis rotation, piggybacking Tyler Lyons in Tuesday’s day-night doubleheader with the Cubs at Wrigley Field.
Garcia boasts a 1.69 ERA and 0.88 WHIP in seven starts (48 innings) this season. He’s missed a ton of time to injuries in his career, but most of the major problems have been elbow- and shoulder-related.
The hope is that Garcia will be ready to return in a week or so. He’s been a huge lift for the first-place Cards in the absence of Adam Wainwright.