Dodgers reliever Tom Koehler was forced off the mound in the third inning of Friday’s Dodgers/White Sox game after suffering what appeared to be a right shoulder injury. While the extent of the injury has yet to be revealed, manager Dave Roberts said the right-hander felt some tightness in his biceps and will undergo an MRI.
It’s an alarming injury for any pitcher, but more so for Koehler, who has a history of shoulder injuries and was sidelined for nearly a month last season after experiencing a bout of bursitis in his right shoulder. The 31-year-old righty was signed to a one-year, $2 million deal back in December and figures to supplant Brandon Morrow in a multi-inning relief role this spring.
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.