Joey Gallo put on a show at batting practice before the Futures Game

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If hitting 71 home runs since the start of the 2013 season didn’t put Rangers prospect Joey Gallo on the map, his batting practice session at Target Field in Minnesota prior to this evening’s Futures Game certainly did.

Gallo hit a ball clear out of Target Field and also broke a truck’s windshield. Baseball America’s JJ Cooper tweeted some pictures:

Gallo, 20, has progressed from Single-A Myrtle Beach to Double-A Frisco. In 362 plate appearances at both levels, he has hit 31 home runs, knocked in 73 runs, and posted a .307/.434/.703 slash line.

Gallo struck out against Twins prospect Domingo German in his first at-bat in the second inning of the Futures Game. He struck out against Yankees prospect Luis Severino in the fourth.

Update (6:48 PM): Gallo crushed a Michael Feliz offering for a two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth to put Team USA up 3-2. Absolutely crushed.

The Cubs played under protest after Joe Maddon disputed an ‘illegal’ pitching motion

Joe Maddon
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The Cubs found themselves in a disadvantageous position toward the end of their 5-2 loss to the Nationals on Saturday. Down by three in the ninth, they were finally looking to gain some ground against closer Sean Doolittle after wearying themselves against Stephen Strasburg for the first eight innings of the game. Instead, the game ended under protest when Cubs skipper Joe Maddon took umbrage with Doolittle’s delivery:

The issue appeared to stem from the motion Doolittle made with his left foot, a kind of “toe-tapping” gesture that Maddon believed had previously been made illegal. The official rules state that a pitcher may not take a second step toward home plate during his delivery, a stipulation that had previously been violated by Cubs’ pitcher Carl Edwards Jr.:

Comparing the two motions, however, one would be hard-pressed to characterize Doolittle’s tapping motion as a full step toward the plate. Maddon clearly didn’t see it that way, and emerged from the dugout to dispute the pitcher’s delivery twice. Following Doolittle’s first-pitch strike to Albert Almora, the manager informed home-plate umpire Sam Holbrook that the Cubs would play the remainder of the game under protest.

An official decision has not yet been announced regarding the illegality of the delivery and the validity of the Cubs’ protest. According to league rules, “the game will not be replayed unless it is also determined that the violation adversely affected the protesting team’s chances of winning.”

During the inning in question, however, the umpiring crew allowed Doolittle to continue his delivery. He helped secure the Nationals’ 5-2 win after inducing a groundout from Almora, striking out Kyle Schwarber, and getting a game-ending pop-out from Kris Bryant.

After the game, both Holbrook and Doolittle took issue with Maddon’s protest.

“In that moment, he’s not trying to do anything other than rattle me,” Doolittle told reporters. “And it was kind of tired. I don’t know, sometimes he has to remind people how smart he is and how much he pays attention to the game. So he put his stamp on it, for sure.”

Holbrook, meanwhile, said Doolittle did “absolutely nothing illegal at all.”