Altuve, Arenado, Chisholm, Rodón won’t play in All-Star Game

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
3 Comments

Houston second baseman Jose Altuve, San Francisco Giants pitcher Carlos Rodon, St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Nolan Arenado and Miami Marlins second baseman Jazz Chisholm Jr. won’t be playing in the All-Star Game.

Altuve, an eight-time All-Star who was selected as a starter in fan voting, was struck on the left knee leading off Thursday’s game against the Los Angeles Angels. He was kept out of the lineup Friday night.

MLB announced Saturday that Altuve is being replaced in the starting lineup by Cleveland’s Andres Gimenez, who is making his first appearance. Toronto’s Santiago Espinal will replace Altuve on the AL roster.

Dodgers pitcher Tyler Anderson, who is 10-1 with a 2.96 ERA in 17 games with 81 strikeouts, is taking the place of Rodon on the NL roster, LA said in a news release. It wasn’t immediately clear why Rodon isn’t playing in the All-Star Game; he was originally added to the roster on July 12 in place of Milwaukee closer Josh Hader.

Atlanta third baseman Austin Riley, who has 100 hits and a .913 OPS this season, will replace Arenado on the NL team.

Arenado, a seven-time All-Star, said Saturday that he’s had lower back soreness for three to four weeks, that MRIs found nothing and that he’ll take the All-Star break to rest.

“It’s been a problem lately It didn’t really make sense for me to go do that,” said Arenado, who lives less than an hour from Los Angeles. “Probably made more sense for me to go home, relax and just chill. Go home. Get treatment. Get some work done. I’ve got some trainers. I’ve got a physical therapist back home, ready to go.”

Altuve said of his knee on Saturday that he was “waiting to see how it responded today and I think we all agree that we’re making the best decision.” He also said “I don’t think we’re going to go” when asked if he was going to go to LA, adding “we’re going to do some treatment and get ready for the second half.”

Pittsburgh’s Jake Cronenworth will take the place of Chisholm, who has been on the injured list since June 29 with a right lower back strain.

Miami manager Don Mattingly said of Chisholm that “anybody that’s in the IL is in medical’s hands until they’re not.”

“I’m sure he’s disappointed he can’t play. He’s earned that right to play,” Mattingly said, adding that Chisholm is “getting better and hopefully he’ll have many more of these (opportunities.)”

The 23-year-old Gimenez, who came to Cleveland last year as part of the trade that sent shortstop Francisco Lindor to the New York Mets, is having a standout season. He’s batting .299 with 10 homers and 43 RBIs in 78 games while playing solid defense. He’s also been clutch, batting .384 with runners in scoring position.

Yankees star Judge hits 62nd homer to break Maris’ AL record

New York Yankees v Texas Rangers - Game Two
Getty Images
1 Comment

ARLINGTON, Texas – Aaron Judge hit his 62nd home run of the season Tuesday night, breaking Roger Maris’ American League record and setting what some fans consider baseball’s “clean” standard.

The 30-year-old Yankees slugger drove a 1-1 slider from Texas right-hander Jesus Tinoco into the first couple of rows of seats in left field when leading off the second game of New York’s day-night doubleheader.

Maris’ 61 for the Yankees in 1961 had been exceeded six times previously, but all were tainted by the stench of steroids. Mark McGwire hit 70 for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1998 and 65 the following year. Barry Bonds hit an MLB-record 73 for the San Francisco Giants in 2001, and the Chicago Cubs’ Sammy Sosa had 66, 65 and 63 during a four-season span starting in 1998.

McGwire admitted using banned steroids, while Bonds and Sosa denied knowingly using performing-enhancing drugs. Major League Baseball started testing with penalties for PEDs in 2004, and some fans – perhaps many – until now have considered Maris as holder of the legitimate record.

A Ruthian figure with a smile as outsized as his body, the 6-foot-7 Judge has rocked the major leagues with a series of deep drives that hearken to the sepia tone movie reels of his legendary pinstriped predecessors.

“He should be revered for being the actual single-season home run champ,” Roger Maris Jr. said Wednesday night after his father’s mark was matched by Judge. “I think baseball needs to look at the records and I think baseball should do something.”

Judge had homered only once in the past 13 games, and that was when he hit No. 61 last Wednesday in Toronto. The doubleheader nightcap in Texas was his 55th game in row played since Aug. 5.

After a single in five at-bats in the first game Tuesday, Judge was 3 for 17 with five walks and a hit by pitch since moving past the 60 home runs Babe Ruth hit in 1927, which had stood as the major league record for 34 years. Maris hit his 61st off Boston’s Tracy Stallard at old Yankee Stadium on Oct. 1, 1961.

Judge has a chance to become the first AL Triple Crown winner since Detroit’s Miguel Cabrera in 2012. He leads the AL with 131 RBIs and began the day trailing Minnesota’s Luis Arraez, who was hitting .315.

The home run in his first at-bat put him back to .311, where he had started the day before dropping a point in the opener.

Judge’s accomplishment will cause endless debate.

“To me, the holder of the record for home runs in a season is Roger Maris,” author George Will said earlier this month. “There’s no hint of suspicion that we’re seeing better baseball than better chemistry in the case of Judge. He’s clean. He’s not doing something that forces other players to jeopardize their health.”