Bud Selig hints at changes for All-Star Game next year

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Bud Selig touched on a number of hot topics with Bob Costas in an interview that aired on MLB Network last night, including realignment, interleague play, the use of instant replay and the long-rumored addition of two Wild Card teams.

You can read some of his comments via this recap from Adam Berry of MLB.com, but it appears the most imminent change may be with the All-Star Game next year. Selig still loves the home field advantage thing, so don’t look for any changes there, but he plans to do more to make sure some of the game’s biggest stars are represented.

“We’ll have some announcement after the first of the year. … I will expect everybody to be there,” Selig said. “The fact remains, it’s still the best of the All-Star Games. … We will do more for next year to make sure we have better representation.”

Derek Jeter, who was voted in by the fans, skipped out on the All-Star Game this year while several high-profile starting pitchers were unavailable, resulting in a long list of relievers pitching for the American League. One of the possibilities being tossed around is that the game will be pushed back to a Wednesday rather than a Tuesday. This may seem like a minor change, but it will enable those who started a game on Sunday to be eligible to pitch. There are still a lot of problems with the All-Star Game, but if the home field advantage thing isn’t going away, this is a very positive and logical development.

Cardinals tab Miles Mikolas for Opening Day start

Miles Mikolas
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The Cardinals have selected right-hander Miles Mikolas as their Opening Day starter, the club revealed Saturday. It’ll mark the first career Opening Day start for Mikolas, who is scheduled to go up against the Brewers when the team hits the road on March 28.

The 29-year-old righty was a strong contender for the 2018 NL Cy Young Award, earning All-Star distinctions and pitching to a career-best 18-4 record with a 2.83 ERA, 1.3 BB/9, 6.5 SO/9, and 4.3 fWAR over 200 2/3 innings. He’s positioned to lead the Cardinals rotation in 2019 as well, with former Opening Day starters Carlos Martínez and Adam Wainwright and some combination of right-handers Jack Flaherty, Michael Wacha, Alex Reyes, and John Gant behind him.

Manager Mike Shildt told reporters that Flaherty, Wacha, Wainwright, and Martínez had all been considered for the honor, but admitted that Opening Day honors were ultimately handed to Mikolas “in recognition of [his performance] last year.” The Cardinals are scheduled to play a four-game set against the Brewers to start the season and will stop over in Pittsburgh for another two games before returning to St. Louis for their opening homestand against the Padres on April 4. Additional pitching assignments have yet to be announced.