D.J. Short

Baseball Daily Dose

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Welcome to All-Star Tuesday

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


The Home Run Derby has its share of detractors (your humble host included), but you can't say that Robinson Cano and Adrian Gonzalez didn't put on a great show last night. A-Gone set the bar pretty high by launching 11 homers to lead off the final round, but Cano was able to reach 12 with four outs to spare to secure the victory. Cano hit a total over 32 home runs over three rounds of competition.

Perhaps the coolest part of it all was that Cano chose his father Jose -- who made three starts and three relief appearances with the Astros in 1989 -- to throw to him. All in all, he had pretty good stuff for a 49-year-old.

While we wait for the Royals to try to talk Jose Cano out of retirement, here are some more news and notes from a pretty quiet day in the baseball world.

- The starting pitchers and lineups for Tuesday's All-Star Game were officially unveiled Monday in Phoenix, Arizona. Let's take a look at the two teams:

National League

2B Rickie Weeks
DH Carlos Beltran
CF Matt Kemp
1B Prince Fielder
C Brian McCann
RF Lance Berkman
LF Matt Holliday
SS Troy Tulowitzki
3B Scott Rolen

Ryan Braun, Jose Reyes and Placido Polanco were voted in as starters, but will not participate due to injury. I'd personally rather see the hot-hitting Pablo Sandoval as the starter at third base, but Rolen ultimately got the call because he finished second on the player ballot. And them's the rules, apparently.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy elected to include Beltran in his lineup as the designated hitter, which is notable given the club's reported interest in the veteran outfielder. Bochy was the one who named Beltran to the NL roster. What can I say, I like a good a conspiracy.

SP Roy Halladay

The National League was blessed with some excellent choices to start (Jair Jurrjens and Cliff Lee among them), but it's hard to question Bochy's decision here. Sure, Halladay is 11-3 with a 2.45 ERA and leads the National League with six complete games, but did you know that he's averaging a career-best 1.1 BB/9 and 8.12 K/9? There's a case to be made that he's having his best season yet.

American League

CF Curtis Granderson
SS Asdrubal Cabrera
1B Adrian Gonzalez
RF Jose Bautista
LF Josh Hamilton
3B Adrian Beltre
DH David Ortiz
2B Robinson Cano
C Alex Avila

Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez won the balloting at their respective positions, but will not not participate in the game. A-Rod had knee surgery Monday while Jeter backed out last week. Some are upset that Jeter skipped out on the festivities altogether, but I think the absence of Mariano Rivera could be more important. At least from an on-the-field perspective. Asdrubal Cabrera is actually an upgrade over Jeter for the purposes of the starting lineup.

While it's pretty funny that last night's Home Run Derby winner is batting eighth, it's also interesting to see Granderson in the leadoff spot again. He's only done that once since being acquired by the Yankees. Of course, these lineups will be meaningless by the third inning, so we shouldn't overanalyze them too much.

SP Jered Weaver

While it's a bummer that Justin Verlander is ineligible to pitch in the game, I'm glad that Weaver is getting some recognition. Maybe it's because he pitches on the West Coast, but I feel he is one of the more underappreciated pitchers in the game. After being the surprise strikeout king last season, the 28-year-old right-hander currently leads the majors with a 1.86 ERA over 19 starts.

- Have Heath Bell or Francisco Rodriguez on your fantasy team? Well, listen up.

Bell told Dan Hayes of the North County Times on Monday that he would be willing to pitch in a set-up role on a contending team. In speaking with Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times, he named the Phillies, Cardinals, Rangers, Yankees and Angels among potential suitors, though it isn't clear whether those teams have expressed interest.

Bell will be a free agent following the season, so he's a near-lock to get traded before the deadline. The Cardinals or Angels might be the only teams mentioned above where Bell would have a path to close, so his fantasy value could take a real hit depending upon where he ends up. Make sure to follow this situation closely in the coming days.

As for K-Rod, he officially aligned with Scott Boras on Monday, who indicated that his client would not approve a deal to a team on his 10-team no-trade list if he would be pitching in a set-up role. Of course, K-Rod will have $17.5 million coming his way in 2012 if he finishes 55 games this season. He's already at 34 games finished at the All-Star break.

There's obviously no way that Sandy Alderson wants K-Rod's option to vest on his watch, especially since it looks like they will be sellers at the deadline, but I fully expect Boras to play hardball where he can. For what it's worth, Brian Costa of the Wall Street Journal reported Monday that the Yankees -- who have been linked as a potential suitor for K-Rod -- are not included on his no-trade list.

NL Quick Hits: Confirming his desire to play for a contender, Carlos Beltran said Monday that accepting a trade to the Red Sox would be a "no-brainer"… Speaking of no-brainers, impending free agent Prince Fielder said Monday that he is open to being a designated hitter … Jose Tabata (quad) began working out over the weekend and is expected to begin a minor league rehab assignment with High-A Bradenton this week … Brad Lidge (elbow) pitched a perfect inning Monday in a minor league rehab appearance with Double-A Reading … Jon Garland underwent season-ending shoulder surgery Monday … Charlie Blackmon is expected to miss around eight weeks after surgery on his fractured left foot … Jerry Hairston Jr. (wrist) hopes to return from the disabled list next Monday … Ronny Cedeno (concussion) may return during the Pirates' first series following the All-Star break against the Astros … Nationals' right-hander Cole Kimball is scheduled to undergo season-ending shoulder surgery Wednesday … Cardinals' left-hander Brian Tallet is sidelined indefinitely after being diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease …

AL Quick Hits: Alex Rodriguez underwent successful surgery Monday to repair a slightly torn meniscus in his right knee and is expected to be sidelined for 4-6 weeks … Jon Lester (strained lat) hopes to play catch later this week and miss only two starts … Jake Peavy is scheduled to see a physical therapist during the All-Star break … Neither Mark Reynolds or Vladimir Guerrero are expected to go on the disabled list after both were hit on the hand by pitches on Sunday … Jon Heyman of SI.com writes that the White Sox are taking calls on impending free-agent Edwin JacksonLuke Scott is still on track to rejoin the Orioles on July 19 after a second opinion Monday confirmed that the tear in his labrum hasn't gotten worse … Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos clarified Monday that prospect Brett Lawrie (hand) has been cleared for batting practice, not game action … Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com reported Monday that the Angels and Pirates were engaged in "serious talks" about a swap of Garrett Jones-for-Jeff Mathis earlier this season … Carlos Guillen (knee) will resume his minor league rehab assignment Tuesday with Double-A Erie … Jeanmar Gomez is expected to join the Indians' starting rotation following the All-Star break … Justin Duchscherer is still experiencing discomfort with his hip and there's no timetable for his return …


D.J. Short is a Rotoworld baseball editor and contributes to NBCSports.com's Hardball Talk blog. You can also find him on Twitter.
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