On the disabled list with a blood clot in his left armpit, Angels left-hander Jason Vargas will undergo surgery to remove the clot and is expected to miss at least three weeks.
Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that Vargas will be completely shut down from throwing for two weeks, but the Angels are hopeful that he’ll be able to return without needing a lengthy minor-league rehab assignment.
Vargas has pitched well for the Angels since being acquired from the Mariners for Kendrys Morales this offseason, starting 14 games with a 3.65 ERA and 62/30 K/BB ratio in 91 innings. And if the Angels don’t climb above .500 soon the impending free agent could be a prime trade candidate next month.
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.