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First round of 2019 All-Star Game finalists has been revealed

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While the final All-Star Game rosters won’t be locked in for several more weeks, we’re starting to get an idea of the players who will be in the running for the starting lineups. On Friday, MLB Network revealed the top three picks at each position, with pitchers and reserve players to be announced on Sunday at 5:30 PM EDT.

American League Finalists

C – Robinson Chirinos (Astros), Gary Sánchez (Yankees), James McCann (White Sox)

1B – Luke Voit (Yankees), C.J. Cron (Twins), Carlos Santana (Indians)

2B – DJ LeMahieu (Yankees), José Altuve (Astros), Tommy La Stella (Angels)

3B – Hunter Dozier (Royals), Alex Bregman (Astros), Gio Urshela (Yankees)

SS – Gleyber Torres (Yankees), Carlos Correa (Astros), Jorge Polanco (Twins)

OF – Mookie Betts (Red Sox), George Springer (Astros), Mike Trout (Angels)

OF – Michael Brantley (Astros), Aaron Judge (Yankees), Austin Meadows (Rays)

OF – Josh Reddick (Astros), Eddie Rosario (Twins), Joey Gallo (Rangers)

DH – Hunter Pence (Rangers), Nelson Cruz (Twins), J.D. Martinez (Red Sox)

Unsurprisingly, the Astros lead the pack with seven finalists — one in every category but first base and DH. The Yankees are a close second with six, while the Twins pulled four nominations, the Angels, Rangers, and Red Sox two each, and the White Sox, Indians, Royals, and Rays managed one apiece.

National League Finalists

C – Willson Contreras (Cubs), Brian McCann (Braves), Yasmani Grandal (Brewers)

1B – Josh Bell (Pirates), Anthony Rizzo (Cubs), Freddie Freeman (Braves)

2B – Mike Moustakas (Brewers), Ozzie Albies (Braves), Ketel Marte (Diamondbacks)

3B – Nolan Arenado (Rockies), Kris Bryant (Cubs), Josh Donaldson (Braves)

SS – Javier Báez (Cubs), Dansby Swanson (Braves), Trevor Story (Rockies)

OF – Cody Bellinger (Dodgers), Christian Yelich (Brewers), Ronald Acuña (Braves)

OF – Albert Almora Jr. (Cubs), Jason Heyward (Cubs), Nick Markakis (Braves)

OF – Joc Pederson (Dodgers), Kyle Schwarber (Cubs), Charlie Blackmon (Rockies)

The Braves and Cubs are tied with seven finalists each, followed by the Rockies and Brewers (3), Dodgers (2), and Pirates and Diamondbacks (1).

Finalists will be selected at each position when the next round of voting opens up on Wednesday, June 26, and the results are scheduled to be announced on Thursday, June 27 at 7:00 PM EDT. The Midsummer Classic will be managed by the Dodgers’ Dave Roberts and Red Sox’ Alex Cora and is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, July 9 at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio.

Indians to activate José Ramírez tomorrow

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Indians slugger José Ramírez broke the hamate bone on his right hand last month and had surgery on August 26 to repair it. At the time he was given the same schedule most hamate bone surgery recipients get: 5-7 weeks if all goes well. Apparently all has gone better-than-well for Ramírez, however, because the Indians are going to activate him tomorrow.

That’s good news for the Indians, who are in a dead heat with the Tampa Bay Rays for the AL’s second Wild Card with six games to go.

Ramírez, like his team, started the season slowly, but he had turned things on in July and August to help fuel Cleveland’s surge into playoff contention. He hit .320/.340/.680 with nine homers and 25 driven in in July and was hitting .321/.372/.705 with six homers and 20 driven in August when he went down. Basically, he had been a better version of the Ramírez who won the Silver Slugger Award and came in third in the MVP balloting in 2018, at least for those two months.

It’ll be interesting to see how rusty he is or if the surgery has sapped his power or bat speed. We’ll only have six games in which to see it, though.