Pedro Moura of The Athletic reports that Dodgers infielder Max Muncy said on the club’s radio station that he will participate in the Home Run Derby. The Derby will be held at Nationals Park one week from now as part of the All-Star Game festivities.
Muncy, 27, has had a breakout season for the Dodgers. He’s hitting .270/.407/.610 with 20 home runs and 38 RBI in 248 plate appearances. He was called up in mid-April to help cover third base after Logan Forsythe went down with an injury. After Justin Turner returned from the disabled list in mid-May, Muncy started drawing starts at first base, sharing the position with Cody Bellinger.
Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper is currently the only other confirmed participant in the 2018 Home Run Derby. So far, we’ve had more stars publicly decline participating — Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez — than opt in.
Judge won last year’s derby, edging the Twins’ Miguel Sanó in the final round, 11-10. The other participants last year were Stanton, Bellinger, Gary Sánchez, Mike Moustakas, Charlie Blackmon, and Justin Bour.
Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman strugged in Sunday afternoon’s start against the Red Sox, yielding four runs (three earned) over five innings. He fell to 2-7 with a 5.86 ERA. The Jays dropped three of four games to the Sox in the series and now sit with a 43-52 record heading into the All-Star break.
Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun reports that while Stroman was initially cool, calm, and collected when speaking to the media after the game, he eventually snapped. Stroman was asked by a reporter about breaking into professional baseball with short-season Single-A Vancouver in 2012. Stroman yelled at the reporter, noting that his team had just lost to the Red Sox, and called his team “f– terrible.” Keegan Matheson’s account of the situation lines up with Buffery’s as well.
Prior to the outburst, Stroman had just praised his teammates, saying, “My team picks me up a ton. They pick me up all year. I should be able to pitch better in times like that when my team doesn’t have my back. Because they’ve had my back a ton of times. So, love my guys on my team and like I said, I would go to war with them any day.”
Stroman will have off until Friday, so hopefully the time off helps him clear his mind. It has understandably been a frustrating season in Toronto.