Via the official Twitter account of the Boston Red Sox …
Buchholz may have something wrong with his left knee, but this move is more performance-related than anything. The right-hander surrendered six earned runs in just three innings Monday afternoon against the Braves and owns a hideous 7.02 ERA through 10 starts this season. He has allowed 75 hits in 50 innings for an opponents’ batting average of .339. The Red Sox are hoping that a bit of rest will do him some good.
Buchholz, 29, posted a 1.74 ERA across 108 1/3 innings last year for the World Series champs.
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.