Maybe the HR Derby isn't such a good idea

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Are we ready to blame the Home Run Derby for squashing Albert Pujols’ chance at the Triple Crown, or is that just an easy excuse? We remember players from the past flaming out after taking part in the Derby – David Wright hit only 6 HR after the break in 2006, and of course Bobby Abreu hit a mere 6 dingers in the second half after dominating the slugfest the year before – but such a thing couldn’t happen to Big Al, right?

Perhaps it’s because we’re looking at a small sample size or maybe a slight statistical decline was inevitable because no human being can keep up the absurd offensive pace that Pujols set from April through early July. But it’s worth peeking at the splits before and after the Derby:
Before: 90 G, .332/.456/.723, 32 HR, 87 RBI, 35 K
After:    31 G, .280/.401/.525, 7 HR, 18 RBI, 14 K
These aren’t bad numbers – I’ll take a .926 OPS, thank you. They’re just not what we were getting from Pujols a couple months ago. Did the HR Derby mess up his swing a bit? Probably the only person who might know is him. And it must be nice to be in a relative slump and still have 39 HR in late August.

Mets release Jenrry Mejia

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The New York Mets have released relief pitcher Jenrry Mejia.

Mejia, you will recall, received a lifetime ban from baseball back in February 2016, following his third failed drug test. Last July Rob Manfred granted his application for reinstatement, effective at the beginning of the 2019 season. By way of rehab, Mejia pitched in five games in the minors late in the season. The Mets, obviously, did not want any part of him going forward, especially considering he’s arbitration eligible. To keep him, they’d have had to add him to their 40-man roster today.

Mejia is 9-14 with a 3.68 ERA in 18 starts and 95 relief appearances, all for the Mets.