It’s the All-Star Break and the big news is the MLB Draft and the Futures Game, and I’ve covered those events elsewhere. But here are a few things related to those events as well as other goings on in MLB this weekend.
- The baseball gods are complete jerks. I’d like to say something stronger than “jerks” but we have standards around here. Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. is out for the season with a torn ACL.
- Acuña vows that he will return from this injury “stronger than ever.” The recovery time on this injury does mean that he might not be back for Opening Day 2022. But never bet against Acuña Jr.
- In more preventable injuries, Phillies pitcher Aaron Nola, third baseman Alec Bohm and two other Phillies were placed on the COVID-related injured list. Bohm tested positive for the disease and the other three were in close contact with Bohm.
- On to the good news, Marlins pitcher Pablo Lopez set a modern-day record by striking out the first nine batters of the game on Sunday against the Braves. No pitcher had done that since they moved the mound back to 60 feet, six inches.
- You’ve probably heard this already, but Padres relief pitcher Daniel Camarena got his first major league hit . . . and it was a grand slam off of Nationals ace Max Scherzer.
- The MLB Draft started yesterday and the Pirates surprised most people by taking Louisville catcher Henry Davis with the first pick. Davis was considered to be the best hitter in college baseball last year, so it wasn’t a total shock. But they were expected to go in a different direction.
- Here’s a complete rundown of every pick made yesterday with analysis by the MLB Pipeline people.
- Here’s ESPN’s view of the first day of the draft if you want a different angle.
- Jeff Passan explains why the new NCAA rules about NIL (name, image, likeness) with regards to players may make it more attractive for some drafted players to go to college rather than sign.
- However, R.J. Anderson explains why every first-round pick will most likely sign.
- The Cubs’ Brennen Davis hit two home runs and was named the MVP of the Futures Game on Sunday. Here are some other highlights from the 2021 edition of the Futures Game.
- Mike Axisa and Matt Snyder offer their takes on the Futures Game.
- There’s been a controversy about a pitch in the Atlantic League that was called a strike by the automated strike zone which looked a foot outside. Jack Baer examines whether the robot umpire really blew the call.
- Ben Clemens examines the Giants’ surprisingly terrific bullpen this year.
- Ken Rosenthal notes all the players skipping the All-Star Game this year, especially everyone who plays for the Astros. But he thinks we should just focus on who is playing in Denver and not who isn’t. (The Athletic sub. req.)
- Former Yankees (and Cubs) first baseman Joe Pepitone is suing the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, claiming the bat that Mickey Mantle hit his 500th home run with is his and was taken from his locker many decades ago.
- And finally, Tim Kurkjian has some memories of what he’s calling the greatest All-Star Game teams of all time on the 50th anniversary of that 1971 matchup.
And tomorrow will be a better day than today, Buster, Please cool off.