MLB picks Brett Gardner to replace injured Alex Gordon on All-Star team

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Royals left fielder Alex Gordon is expected to miss two months following Wednesday’s gruesome-looking groin injury and MLB wasted no time naming his replacement for the All-Star game: Brett Gardner of the Yankees.

Gordon was voted in as a starter for the American League, whereas Gardner will begin the game on the bench and someone–Adam Jones of the Orioles, perhaps?–will slide into the AL’s starting lineup.

Gardner was among the five AL players involved in the “Final Vote” contest, but was not doing well in the voting early on. So now he gets to skip that step and become a first-time All-Star at age 31 after hitting .298 with nine homers, 15 steals, and an .856 OPS in 78 games for the Yankees.

Giants sign Darin Ruf to minor league contract

Darin Ruf
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The Athletic’s Jayson Stark reports that the Giants have signed 1B/OF Darin Ruf to a minor league contract.

Ruf, 33, played parts of five seasons in the majors with the Phillies from 2012-16, enjoying occasional offensive success. He spent the last three seasons in the KBO League in South Korea with the Samsung Lions, reigniting his career. Ruf hit an aggregate .313/.404/.564 with 86 home runs and 350 RBI over 1,756 plate appearances.

Ruf joins an ever-increasing list of players whose major league careers fizzled out, then found new life overseas — Eric Thames and Miles Mikolas are a couple of examples. Ruf will hope to prove himself as a big leaguer once more in spring training with the Giants.