Gary Sheffield’s nephew, draft prospect Jordan Sheffield, needs Tommy John surgery

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Gary Sheffield has a nephew, Jordan Sheffield, who’s a high school pitcher in Tennessee and top-50 draft prospect. Or at least he was.

Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com reports that Sheffield needs Tommy John elbow surgery that will end his high school career and may cause him to play college ball at Vanderbilt rather than potentially falling way down in the draft.

Of course, going to school at Vanderbilt for a few years isn’t such a bad thing and Mayo notes that some teams considered Sheffield a “tough sign” even before the injury because they expected him to go to college.

Last year the Nationals took Lucas Giolito with the No. 16 pick even though he was sidelined by an elbow injury at the time and he later needed Tommy John surgery.

Pujols hits 701st career home run, connects for Cardinals

albert pujols
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ST. LOUIS — Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols hit his 701st home run, connecting Friday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Pujols launched a slider from former teammate Johan Oviedo over the Big Mac Land sign in left field at Busch Stadium. The solo drive in the fourth inning made it 1-all.

Pujols faced Oviedo for the first time and made the 24-year-old righty the 456th different pitcher he’s homered against.

The St. Louis star hadn’t homered in a week since hitting No. 699 and 700 at Dodger Stadium last Friday. Pujols had gone 10 at-bats without a home run after two starts and one pinch-hit appearance.

The Busch Stadium crowd gave the 42-year-old Pujols a long standing ovation before he came out of the Cardinals dugout to tip his cap for a curtain call.

Pujols hit his 22nd home run this season for the NL Central champion Cardinals.

Pujols is fourth on the career home run list behind Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714).