Major League Baseball literally and figuratively hit one, actually several, out of the park Monday night. The revamped Home Run Derby is widely being viewed as a success and the rules that were altered at seemingly the last minute due to the pending weather tweaked The Derby even more and has made the annual event a must see for fans of the game again.
The Reds’ Todd Frazier won The Derby, beating the Dodgers’ Joc Pederson. And Frazier joined Ryne Sandberg (1990) as the only two players to win The Home Run Derby in their home ballpark. Sammy Sosa remains last Cubs’ player to win The Derby. Sosa won the event in 2000 and before Monday night, Sosa was the last Cub to participate in the Home Run Derby (2004).
Anthony Rizzo went first in The Derby, hit eight home runs and was eliminated by Josh Donaldson. Kris Bryant was paired up with Albert Pujols. Bryant lifted nine home runs and lost to Pujols. For Bryant it was more about sharing the experience with his father, Mike, than hitting home runs or winning the derby. Mike Bryant pitched to Kris.
It was Media Day at the All-Star Game on Monday and Jonathan Papelbon did not hold back.
Papelbon has not made it a secret he would like to talk to Andy MacPhail and he would like to be traded. “It’s time to either you-know-what or get off the pot,” Papelbon repeated Monday.
Jonathan Papelbon is still Phillies’ property and he is not happy about it.
“If it was up to me, I’d have been gone a long time ago,” Papelbon said. “Being in Philly the last four years has made me appreciate Boston a lot more. And it’s made me more humble. And I appreciate that.”
Papelbon does not think the comments Phillies’ GM Ruben Amaro Jr. has made about the players have helped the situation in Philadelphia.
Papelbon told Comcast SportsNet he would love to reunite with Jon Lester on the Cubs but the decision is not up to him, he wishes it was. Papelbon is willing to waive his no-trade rights to go to a winning situation for a team that wants him to close games.
What is going on with the Phillies and the mess the franchise has become is not what Papelbon signed up for he explained to Jim Salisbury. Papelbon clarified his stance and said if he is not traded he will still prepare and help the Phillies win games. But he will not be happy about it if he is still with the team on Aug. 1.
RHP Rafael Soriano made his fifth relief appearance in the Smokies’ 9-2 loss to Biloxi on Monday night. Soriano pitched the eighth inning, faced four batters and threw 20 pitches, 10 for strikes. Soriano issued two walks and no hits with a strikeout in an inning of work. Soriano induced a double play and struck out the last batter he faced.
In five games, Soriano has allowed one unearned run on three hits with three walks and four strikeouts in five innings (0.00 ERA, 1.20 WHIP).
According to a report from Smokies Radio, Soriano topped out a 94 mph on the gun Monday night.
Monday was the first time Soriano has pitched in back-to-back games. Soriano retired Biloxi on Sunday in order on eight pitches. Soriano is at least two or three outings away from possibly being ready to be added to the Cubs’ roster.
Joe Maddon said during the Sox series that Soriano would not be ready in time to pitch in Atlanta. If he is not with the Cubs by the time the team leaves Atlanta, he should be activated during the series with the Reds.
RHP Donn Roach is no longer in the organization. According to the transactions page on Cubs.com, the Reds claimed Roach off waivers from the Cubs.
Roach was designated for assignment on July 10 to make room on the 40-man roster for Mike Olt. The Cubs needed the spot on the 40-man to reinstate Olt from the 60-day disabled list. Olt was optioned to Iowa on the same day.
Donn Roach posted a 7-2 record in 15 starts for Triple-A Iowa this season with a 2.33 ERA and 1.11 WHIP. Roach surrendered 83 hits with 16 walks and 33 strikeouts in 89 innings. Roach made one start for the Cubs and he was unable to complete four innings. Roach allowed four runs on eight hits with a walk and a strikeout in 3 1/3 innings to the Cardinals.
The Cubs optioned Donn Roach to Triple-A Iowa when LHP Clayton Richard was acquired from the Pirates.
News, Notes and Rumors
• Cory DiBenedetto posted an interesting report on the Daily Gammons. DiBenedetto examined the performances of Home Run Derby participants since 2008 … 20 games before and 20 games after The Derby.
• Johnny Cueto could be the Astros’ top trade target according to a report from Hardball Talk citing Jon Heyman as its source.
• David Price is not expecting to be traded and even with the Tigers disappointing first half, Jon Heyman’s sources indicated it is unlikey Detroit will move Price before the deadline.
• Jay Bruce is available in trade according to Jon Heyman and the Reds will become full-fledged sellers in the coming days.
• Joel Sherman thought up three trades that make sense to him, one of them involves the Cubs. Sherman pointed out at the beginning of his column he is not hearing any of these deals could happen.
And last, but not least, according to Sports Illustrated, Kris Bryant’s Home Run Derby cleats and gloves will terrify the competition.
This Day In Cubstory
2013 – The U.S. Team beat the World Team in the Futures Game, 4-2. Arismendy Alcantara hit a solo home run for the World Team.
2012 – Ryan Dempster tied the Cubs franchise record by extending his scoreless streak to 33 innings in a 4-1 win over the Diamondbacks. Dempster tossed six scoreless before leaving the game and tied Ken Holtzman’s record that was set in 1969
2011 – Cubs signed free agent Dave Bush
2002 – Cubs signed amateur free agent Clay Rapada
1997 – In the longest night game at Wrigley Field, five hours and 19 minutes, the Cubs lost to the Astros 9-7 in 15 innings. Ricky Gutierrez singled in the go-ahead run (The John Baker Game last July passed this game for the longest in franchise history)
1988 – Cubs traded Dave Martinez to the Expos for Mitch Webster
1970 – Jim Hickman drove in Pete Rose with a single in the 12th inning as the NL beat the AL 5-4 at the All-Star Game at Riverfront Stadium. Rose bowled over Ray Fosse at the plate when he scored the final run.
1969 – At Wrigley Field, Bill Hands and the Cubs edged Tom Seaver and the Mets 1-0. After the last out was made, Ron Santo jumped up and clicked his heels for the first time.
1969 – Jose Hernandez, born
1968 – Derrick May, born
1965 – In the second game of a doubleheader at Wrigley, the Cubs turned a triple play in the second inning on a bunt by Woody Woodward of the Braves. The play went from catcher Ed Bailey to shortstop Don Kessinger to pitcher Bill Faul to second baseman Glenn Beckert. This is the only time the Cubs have turned a triple play on a bunt. The Cubs lost game two 6-3 after winning game one 5-2.
1954 – Chuck Rainey, born
1947 – Steve Stone, born
1882 – The Chicago National League Ball Club beat Detroit 23-4 behind Larry Corcoran at Lakefront Park. George Gore, Mike Kelley and Ed Williamson each drove in three runs and scored three runs.