Dennis Lin of U-T San Diego reports that Padres right-hander Ian Kennedy won’t make Monday’s scheduled start against the Braves due to left oblique soreness. Jason Lane will start in his place opposite Ervin Santana at Turner Field. Kennedy isn’t expected to need a stint on the disabled list.
Kennedy, who has drawn a bit of trade interest from contending teams, has a 3.66 ERA with a 143/42 K/BB ratio in 135 1/3 innings this season. The 29-year-old is earning $6.1 million this season and will be eligible for arbitration for the third and final time after the season.
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.