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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Baseball

Mike Trout has no interest in Home Run Derby

Mike Trout

A Home Run Derby trophy is one of the only pieces of individual hardware that Mike Trout has yet to collect, but that may not change any time soon.

Speaking with reporters on Monday, the Los Angeles Angels superstar said that he would not be participating in this year’s competition at Nationals Park.

“I don’t think I’m doing it,” said Trout, per Bill Shaikin of the LA Times. “I really just don’t have any interest in it. I like going to it and watching it.”

As one of baseball’s biggest stars, Trout, 26, has been speculated as a potential Derby participant for years but has never actually competed. Trout did say however that he would not rule out taking a shot at it before his career ends.

“A lot of people say you should at least do it once,” he said. “Probably. Maybe.”

In any case, Trout has already been providing plenty of dingers this season, leading the league with 23 of them. He also does more than enough during All-Star festivities to keep the fans entertained, so it’s hard to complain.

Didi Gregorius goes to great lengths to block Nats from stealing signs

Didi Gregorius

Didi Gregorius went to great lengths to try and prevent the Washington Nationals from stealing signs late in Monday night’s game.

The New York Yankees shortstop was concerned about Daniel Murphy relaying signs from second base to his batter at the plate in the 9th inning and acted accordingly. MASN showed that Gregorius was positioning himself in front of Murphy to block the Nats infielder from being able to see the signs from catcher Austin Romine to pitcher Aroldis Chapman.

With two outs, two on and two strikes on shortstop Trea Turner, Romine even came out to meet with Chapman and Gregorious to change up their signs. It worked as Turner flied out to end the game — a 4-2 win for the Yankees. Chapman was able to secure the save, thanks to a little help from Gregorius.

Maybe if MLB listened to the advice of former Yankee manager Joe Girardi, they wouldn’t have to worry about such things.

Kelvin Herrera posts farewell note after trade to Nationals

Kelvin Herrera

Kelvin Herrera posted a farewell note on Twitter Monday following a trade to the Washington Nationals.

Herrera, 28, was signed by Kansas City in 2006 and had only been a part of their organization until today. He made note of that in thanking the Royals.

The relationship goes two ways, as Royals GM Dayton Moore said he considers Herrera family and that they wanted to put him in a situation where he could succeed.

Herrera made two All-Star teams with the Royals and helped them win the World Series in 2015.

Though it is probably tough for him to switch organizations after spending so long with the Royals, he now will have a chance to win it all with a National League team. Washington was already a strong contender in the NL and looks even better with Herrera added to the bullpen.

Nationals acquire closer Kelvin Herrera in trade with Royals

Kelvin Herrera

The Washington Nationals’ bullpen just got a lot better.

As if having Sean Doolittle closing things out weren’t good enough, the Nats have now acquired Kelvin Herrera from the Kansas City Royals.

The Royals officially announced the trade on Monday and said they were receiving outfielder Blake Perkins, third baseman Kelvin Gutierrez, and pitcher Yohanse Morel in return.

Herrera, 28, is having a fantastic season. He has a 1.05 ERA and 0.82 WHIP this season with 14 saves. He’s only walked two and struck out 22 in 25.2 innings.

Herrera will be a right-handed counterpart for the lefty Doolittle. The Nats’ southpaw closer has a 1.47 ERA, 0.55 WHIP and 18 saves this season, to go along with 43 strikeouts.

Bullpen used to be an area of weakness for the Nats, but it now looks like a strength. If they could only get Ryan Madson and Brandon Kintzler on track, they’d really be in business.

Might Red Sox have interest in trading for DJ LeMahieu?

DJ Lemahieu

Could the Boston Red Sox have interest in trading for DJ LeMahieu if Dustin Pedroia continues to have injury issues? One reporter thinks so.

MLB Network’s Jon Morosi said on Monday that he thinks the Red Sox could be a good trade match for the Colorado Rockies second baseman depending on Pedroia’s status.

One area where LeMahieu could help the Red Sox is with hitting left-handed pitchers, which he excels at.

LeMahieu is a two-time All-Star and led the league in hitting in 2016. He has a career .301 average, but he’s had the benefit of playing at Coors Field his entire career. He’s making $8.5 million this season and set to become a free agent after the year.

Pedroia did not make his season debut until late May because he was recovering from knee surgery. He only played three games before heading back to the DL with more knee problems. If it does not look like he will be able to contribute this season, the World Series-contending Sox might seek an upgrade at second over Eduardo Nunez, who is batting .247 with a .627 OPS.

Angels ‘very optimistic’ about Shohei Ohtani’s recovery

Shohei Ohtani

There is good news on the Shohei Ohtani front.

Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia said on Monday that the team’s medical staff is “very optimistic” about Ohtani’s recovery from a UCL injury. According to the LA Times’ Bill Shaikin, Scioscia did say that they are still a few weeks away from knowing whether a plasma injection helped.

The Japanese two-way player has been able to take one-armed swings in the batting cage.

Scioscia says that the ligament is not affected by his swing.

Ohtani was placed on the disabled list retroactive to June 7 and is out indefinitely. The team has held optimism that he could return this season, and it sounds like that’s especially a possibility as a hitter.

Ohtani is 4-1 with a 3.10 ERA as a pitcher this season, and he’s batting .289 with a .907 OPS as a hitter.

Nationals’ Juan Soto homers in game that started before his MLB debut

Washington Nationals

Thanks to a truly unique series of events, Washington Nationals outfielder Juan Soto homered Monday in a game that will go down as having been played before he had made his major league debut.

The Nationals restarted a game against the New York Yankees that had been started and suspended on May 15, tied at 3. The Nationals were able to use their current roster to finish the game, which meant Soto, who was called up on May 20, was able to play.

Play he did. He hit a two-run home run to put the Nationals ahead, prompting some serious confusion.

Fear not, though. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Soto’s big league debut will not be backdated, though it will undoubtedly throw off an entire future generation of baseball historians.

Soto has done some incredible things since his call-up. Transcending space-time and hitting a home run in a game that happened before he played in the big leagues is just the latest example.

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