MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro reports that Marlins third baseman Martin Prado had a setback with his surgically-repaired right knee and won’t be ready for the start of the regular season. As a result, Brian Anderson will be the club’s starting third baseman on Opening Day, Frisaro notes.
Prado, 34, played in only 37 games last season, batting a meager .250/.279/.357 with a pair of home runs and 12 RBI in 147 plate appearances.
Anderson, 24, hit .262/.337/.369 with eight extra-base hits in 95 PA last season. MLB Pipeline ranks Anderson as the Marlins’ ninth-best prospect.
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.