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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

Yankees’ Luis Severino Alters Diet to Improve Late-Season Energy

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New York Yankees pitcher Luis Severino will be entering an important season as he tries to prove that he is a legit ace for a team that bolstered it’s starting rotation this offseason.

And that means a change in his diet.

Severino has altered his diet, cutting a number of snacks, including his favorite twice-fried plantains, out of his diet in an effort to avoid late-season fatigue.

“It’s not easy, it’s tough” Severino said, according to ESPN’s Coley Harvey.

“When you are at the finish line and you feel like you need a little bit more than five days to be ready, you know that something’s going on,” Severino said.

Severino made the decision to change his diet following the Yankees’ Divisional Series lost to World Series Champions the Boston Red Sox.

“Even though I feel like he was certainly healthy, he probably dealt with some fatigue issues with being a young pitcher in this league, and for the second consecutive year kind of getting around that 200-inning standpoint,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.

“But in a lot of ways, we saw the normal progression of a young star pitcher. And even though he had some struggles in the second half, he had some flashes where he pitched really well for us, righted the ship a little bit.”

Severino still could be the starter on Opening Day.

“I would say there’s a very good chance of that,” Boone said. “We hadn’t had those kind of conversations exactly yet. But my expectation is that he would be that guy.”

Severino noted that the diet change was hard.

“I hate eating vegetables,” Severino said.


Where I came from, we just eat anything we see in the fridge, fried and fast food,” Severino said. “But we’re eating more vegetables and stuff like that, and get your body going faster and then recover fast. So that’s my main stuff, focusing on my workouts and avoiding doing a lot of weights that maybe make me a lot more tired.”

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American League

Yankees Keeping Tabs on Manny Machado

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Don’t completely count the New York Yankees out of the Manny Machado sweepstakes just yet, because they are simply playing the waiting game.

According to SNY.tv’s Andy Martino, the Yankees are keeping tabs on Machado with the hopes that a golden opportunity arises.

While they aren’t interested in Machado at shortstop, they would play him at third base and move Miguel Andujar to first base should they be able to haul in Machado.

While nothing is imminent, and even though the report states that a deal is unlikely, there is no counting the Yankees out of it just yet as Spring Training approaches.

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American League

Athletics Sign Brett Anderson

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The Oakland Athletics have agreed to terms with left hander Brett Anderson, according to the San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser.

Anderson is taking a physical on Tuesday.

Anderson pitched to the tune of a 4.48 ERA for the A’s last season.

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