MLB tweaks Home Run Derby rules because of the weather in Cincinnati

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A few hours ago, it didn’t look like there would be a Home Run Derby today. However, the weather has cleared up in Cincinnati and there should be enough of a window to get this thing in. MLB has tweaked the rules of the derby to push things along:

MLB announced new rules for the Home Run Derby last month, which included five-minute rounds and the ability to stop the clock with each home run in the final minute. Players were also supposed to get a bonus minute for hitting two home runs that equal or exceed 420 feet. Nice ideas, but with more bad weather on the way, they needed to speed things up.

Perhaps this will end up being a happy accident. The biggest issue with the Home Run Derby is that it drags on forever. MLB tried to address those concerns with the original rule changes, but these latest alterations should create a brisk pace. Here’s hoping, anyway.

Astros’ Verlander to have elbow surgery, miss rest of season

Justin Verlander
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Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the rest of the season.

The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner announced the news Saturday on his Instagram account in a 1½-minute video.

“In my simulated game a couple days ago, I felt something in my elbow, and after looking at my MRI and conversing with some of the best doctors in the world, we’ve determined that Tommy John surgery is my best option,” Verlander said.

He threw to hitters on Wednesday for the first time since he was injured in the team’s opener on July 24. He threw 50 pitches in the bullpen before throwing about 25 pitches to hitters in two simulated innings.

“I tried as hard as I could to come back and play this season,” Verlander said. “Unfortunately, my body just didn’t cooperate.”

Verlander has been on the injured list with a right forearm strain. He went 21-6 with a 2.58 ERA in 2019.

“Obviously, this is not good news,” Verlander said. “However, I’m going to handle this the only way I know how. I’m optimistic. I’m going to put my head down, work hard, attack this rehab and hopefully, come out the other side better for it.

“I truly believe everything that everything happens for a reason, and although 2020 has sucked, hopefully, when this rehab process is all said and done, this will allow me to charge through the end of my career and be healthy as long as I want and pitch as long as I want and accomplish some of the goals that I want in my career.”

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