Santiago Casilla will undergo knee surgery this week

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As first reported by Amy Gutierrez of CSN Bay Area, Giants reliever Santiago Casilla is scheduled to undergo surgery this week to remove a cyst from his right knee. The Giants won’t make a guess on a recovery timetable until the procedure is completed.

“Immobilized at least a few weeks,” is what head Giants trainer Dave Groeschner told beat writer Alex Pavlovic of the San Jose Mercury News.

Casilla has been on the disabled list since May 21 because of the cyst, which has bothered him now for over three weeks. He had a superb 1.89 ERA through 21 appearances this season and boasts a 2.19 ERA since the start of the 2010 campaign. It’s a tough loss for San Francisco.

The 32-year-old right-hander signed a three-year, $14 million contract with the Giants in December 2012. The deal bought out Casilla’s final year of salary arbitration and his first two years of free agency.

Bryce Harper will participate in the Home Run Derby if he makes the All-Star team

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Bryce Harper has, in recent years, declined participation in the Home Run Derby, with his last go at it coming in 2013, losing to Yoenis Cespedes in the final round. With the All-Star Game taking place at Nationals Park in Washington, however, he has changed his mind, saying today that he will compete if he is selected for the All-Star team.

Harper is currently second in voting among National League outfielders, so he stands a pretty good chance of making it. Even if he falls off in the voting, you have to assume that the powers that be will nudge NL manager A.J. Hinch to select Harper as a reserve, partially because of his actual power — he does have 19 homers so far this year — but mostly for his star power.

Simply put, you know dang well that both Major League Baseball and the Nationals want a home town guy with big time star power in the Derby, even if he’s not having as good a year as he’s capable of. As such, figure to see Harper hitting long balls in D.C. on July 16.