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American League

2018 MLB All-Star Game Rosters Unveiled

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The favorite night of the summer for baseball fans is coming up rapidly. The 2018 MLB All-Star Game is a week from Tuesday in Washington DC. Before this week’s edition of Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN, the All-Stars of both leagues were revealed. Whether by fan, player or managerial vote, the following players have earned the honor of going to the Midsummer Classic:

National League

Manager: Dave Roberts- Dodgers

Starting lineup:

  • C- Willson Contreras- Cubs (first appearance)
  • 1B- Freddie Freeman- Braves (third appearance)
  • 2B- Javier Baez- Cubs (first appearance)
  • SS- Brandon Crawford- Giants (second appearance)
  • 3B- Nolan Arenado- Rockies (fourth appearance)
  • OF- Nick Markakis- Braves (first appearance)
  • OF- Matt Kemp- Dodgers (third appearance)
  • OF- Bryce Harper- Nationals (sixth appearance)

Notable: LA’s Matt Kemp, who is singled-handedly keeping the Dodgers in contention, is back for the first time since 2012, the longest stretch between appearances for any All-Star this year.

Starting pitchers:

  • Jacob deGrom- Mets (second appearance)
  • Mike Foltynewicz- Braves (first appearance)
  • Patrick Corbin- D-Backs (second appearance)
  • Aaron Nola- Phillies (first appearance)
  • Miles Mikolas- Cardinals (first appearance)
  • Max Scherzer- Nationals (sixth appearance)
  • Jon Lester- Cubs (fifth appearance)

Notable: Arizona’s Patrick Corbin returns tfter being tagged with the loss in 2013 at New York’s Citi Field. Jacob deGrom is the sole representative of the aforementioned Mets and is the favorite to get the starting nod at this point, but don’t rule out Lester.

Bullpen:

  • Brad Hand- Padres (second appearance)
  • Sean Doolittle- Nationals (second appearance)
  • Kenley Jansen- Dodgers (third appearance)
  • Felipe Vazquez- Pirates (first appearance)
  • Josh Hader- Brewers (first appearance)

Notable: Doolittle, Jansen and Hand are amongst the game’s best closers, while Vazquez and Hader are quickly approaching that conversation. Bullpen advantage goes to the NL.

Reserves:

  • C-Buster Posey- Giants (sixth appearance)
  • C- JT Realmuto- Marlins (first appearance)
  • 1B- Paul Goldschmidt- D-Backs (sixth appearance)
  • 1B- Joey Votto- Reds (sixth appearance)
  • 2B- Ozie Albies- Braves (first appearance)
  • 2B- Scooter Gennett- Reds (first appearance)
  • SS- Trevor Story- Rockies (first appearance)
  • 3B- Eugenio Suarez- Reds (first appearance)
  • OF- Charlie Blackmon- Rockies (third appearance)
  • OF- Lorenzo Cain- Brewers (second appearance)
  • OF- Christian Yelich- Brewers (first appearance)

Notable: Six players on the NL’s bench make their debuts this year, while Posey, Votto and Goldschmidt each make their sixth appearance.

Final Vote candidates:

  • Jesus Aguilar- Brewers (no appearances)
  • Brandon Belt- Giants (one appearance)
  • Max Muncy- Dodgers (no appearances)
  • Trea Turner- Nationals (no appearances)
  • Matt Carpenter- Cardinals (three appearances)

Turner is the odds-on favorite to be the last man on the Senior Circuit side. His Washington Nationals are this year’s hosts and their fans will vote in troves to get him there so they’ll have one more guy to go crazy for when Joe Buck does his traditional introductions.

American League

Manager: AJ Hinch- Astros

Starting lineup:

  • C- Wilson Ramos- Rays (second appearance)
  • 1B- Jose Abreu- White Sox (second appearance)
  • 2B- Jose Altuve- Astros (sixth appearance)
  • SS- Manny Machado- Orioles (fourth appearance)
  • 3B- Jose Ramirez- Indians (second appearance)
  • OF-Aaron Judge- Yankees (second appearance)
  • OF- Mike Trout- Angels (seventh appearance)
  • OF- Mookie Betts- Red Sox (third appearance)
  • DH- JD Martinez- Red Sox (second appearance)

Notable: The American League’s starting lineup is almost identical to last year’s. Judge and Betts will once again patrol the outfield, joined by Trout, whom Betts replaced in 2017 due to a thumb injury.

Starting pitchers:

  • JA Happ- Blue Jays (first appearance)
  • Corey Kluber- Indians (third appearance)
  • Justin Verlander- Astros (seventh appearance)
  • Trevor Bauer- Indians (first appearance)
  • Luis Severino- Yankees (second appearance)
  • Blake Treinen- Athletics (first appearance)
  • Chris Sale- Red Sox (seventh appearance)
  • Gerrit Cole- Astros (second appearance)
  • Jose Berrios- Twins (first appearance)

Notable: AL skipper Hinch is Verlander’s manager, and he has already announced that his ace will not play in the game, Bauer is his replacement. Verlander was the favorite to start; now that his participation is ruled out the choice will likely come down to Luis Severino or Gerrit Cole, who has been a revelation.

Bullpen:

  • Joe Jimenez- Tigers (first appearance)
  • Edwin Diaz- Mariners (first appearance)
  • Aroldis Chapman- Yankees (fifth appearance)
  • Craig Kimbrel- Red Sox (seventh appearance)

Notable: Chapman and Kimbrel find themselves on the AL side this time after being teammates for the NL from 2012 to 2014. They are the AL’s best, but the NL boasts one more reliever and Hinch will have to choose wisely should the American League have the lead late.

Reserves:

  • C- Salvador Perez- Royals (sixth appearance)
  • 1B- Mitch Moreland- Red Sox (first appearance)
  • 2B- Gleyber Torres- Yankees (first appearance)
  • SS- Francisco Lindor- Indians (third appearance)
  • 3B- Alex Bregman- Astros (first appearance)
  • OF- Michael Brantley- Indians (third appearance)
  • OF- Mitch Haniger- Mariners (first appearance)
  • OF- George Springer- Astros (second appearance)
  • OF- Shin-Soo Choo- Rangers (first appearance)
  • DH- Nelson Cruz- Mariners (sixth appearance)

Notable: A feel-good moment comes here for Texas’ Choo, who gets his first selection at the age of 35 after being in the game for 13 years. According to ESPN, he is the first Korean batter selected to the MLB All-Star Game. Former Ranger Moreland is a similar case, getting his first selection at 32.

Final Vote candidates:

  • Eddie Rosario- Twins (no appearances)
  • Jean Segura- Mariners (one appearance)
  • Andrelton Simmons- Angels (no appearances)
  • Andrew Benintendi- Red Sox (no appearances)
  • Giancarlo Stanton- Yankees (four appearances)

Based on name value alone, Stanton is the favorite here. But Simmons, Benintendi, Segura and Rosario all have worthy numbers, Yankee fans will have to vote aggressively to get their prized acquisition to his fifth appearance.

Information on injury replacements and pitching fill-ins to come. Which side is more stacked in your opinion? Be sure to let us know and check back to HR Daily as the Midsummer Classic gets closer and closer!

American League

Rangers Sign Rafael Montero

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The Texas Rangers have agreed to terms on a minor-league deal with right handed pitcher Rafael Montero, according to the Dallas Morning News’ Evan Grant.

Montero is still working back from Tommy John surgery, and was once a top prospect in the New York Mets organization , but struggled transitioning to the major league level, putting together a woeful 5.38 ERA over 192 1/3 innings pitched.

 

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American League

Astros Sign Robinson Chirinos to One-Year Deal

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The Houston Astros are signing free agent catcher Robinson Chirinos to a one-year deal with $5.75 million, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal.

Chirinos had a career year in 2017 while playing for the Texas Rangers, but had a dramatic dip in production during the 2018 season and was no brought back by the team. Chirinos isn’t considered a defensive stud behind the plate either, and will join Max Stassi in the Astros catching rotation.

 

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American League

Angels Announce Coaching Staff

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The Los Angeles Angels have announced the coaching staff for brand new manager Brad Ausmus.

Pitching coach Doug White, hitting coach Jeremy Reed, and assistant hitting coach Shawn Wooten have already been announced as additions to Ausmus’ staff.

Long-time MLB infielder Mike Gallego will work with infielders and coach third base. Jose Molina, the former big league catcher, will work with catchers. Additionally, Jesus Feliciano will be slated to work with the outfielders and former slugger Paul Sorrento will join the hitting coaches team.

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