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.
My theory — which is probably wrong given that it involves a prediction — is that whichever of the AL East teams picks up a good starting pitcher will have the inside track on that tight race. Well, unless it’s the Rays, who need a bat. Among the Blue Jays, Yankees and Orioles, however, a top starter should help elevate them to favorite status.
All three were on the scene in Washington last night to scout Johnny Cueto, Joel Sherman reports. They likely liked what they saw, given that he tossed a shutout.
Given how many teams could use a starting pitcher — add the Astros, Dodgers and Tigers to this list — and you have to figure Cueto will come at a higher price than most three-month rentals would. That could pose problems for the Yankees, who don’t exactly have a ton of top team-controlled talent to woo the Reds. That’s not quite as true for the other AL East teams, but it’s not like their systems are loaded either.
Over at Sporting News today Jesse Spector floats a neat idea: someone willing to eat some salary could trade relatively little for Cueto in terms of talent but maybe take on a bad contract from the Reds such as Brandon Phillips’. Intriguing, NBA-style idea, much like the Braves did in their trades with San Diego and Arizona recently.
Cueto may be the top pitcher available right now. So he’s worth watching. And everyone seems to be watching him.
Reds ace Johnny Cueto turned in another dominant performance Tuesday night, throwing a complete-game, two-hit shutout against the Nationals while racking up 11 strikeouts and just one walk.
And within that exceptional outing he also had a little fun during Ian Desmond’s at-bat in the seventh inning, taking his usual mid-delivery pause to another level by … well, wiggling.
Desmond was so confused by Cueto that he backed off and just took the pitch for a strike. And then when Cueto tried it again the next pitch Desmond stayed focused and fouled it off. Desmond eventually struck out looking.
* I wrote the “wiggle it, just a little bit” headline thinking most people would remember the song I was referencing, but then I looked it up and it’s 25 years old. So now I’m sad about being old, but also going to spend all day listening to “Wiggle It” by 2 In A Room.