According to a report from Gordon Wittenmyer, Cubs sluggers Javier Baez and Kyle Schwarber have both been named to participate in the 2018 T-Mobile Home Run Derby on Monday, May 16 at Nationals Park. They are the first Cubs to participate in the Derby since Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant did in 2015.
Joining Baez and Schwarber on the National League team are Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper and Dodgers first baseman Max Muncy.
Baez, who is an All-Star for the first time this season, has 17 home runs on the season. Schwarber also has 17 home runs and was invited to participate despite not having been named to the team.
Harper, like Baez, was elected to the starting lineup of the All-Star Game and has 22 home runs this year. He’ll also be the hometown favorite. Muncy is one of the players in the “final five” vote and he has 20 home runs this year.
Baez has said for a while that he wanted to participate in the Derby. Cubs manager Joe Maddon said he is fine with both of his players participating and is quoted by Wittenmyer as saying “I don’t think it messes your swing up.” Left unsaid is that there is little fear that the Home Run Derby will make Baez try to hit every pitch 450 feet because he already does that.
The Home Run Derby will be televised on ESPN at 7 pm Central time on Monday.