Cespedes triumphs in competitive Home Run Derby
Editor Note: Everyone is still stuck on this Yasiel guy and can not keep him out of the headlines and in the article. He’s on the complete other side of the USA and not playing! P.S. still love ya SI!
For all the talk leading up to the All-Star week festivities about whether a certain Cuban outfielder would be allowed to display his talents on the national stage, it was another Cuban native who stole the show at Monday’s Home Run Derby.
With the Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig nowhere to be found at Citi Field, Yoenis Cespedes reminded everyone that he was Puig before Puig: a multi-tooled outfielder with a flair for the dramatic and more than a little pop in his bat. Cespedes, the A’s second-year leftfielder and the lone non-All-Star in this year’s Home Run Derby, turned in one of the best performances in Derby history. He blasted 17 home runs in the first round, 32 overall and used up just five of his 10 outs in the finals before defeating the Nationals’ Bryce Harper with a 455-foot shot off the wall behind the batters eye in straight-away centerfield.
Questions Still Remain for First-Place Atlanta Braves
Will the Braves take advantage of their schedule?
The scheduling powers-that-be have been up to their usual shenanigans this season. After grueling road trips and extended West Coast visits to begin the year, Atlanta has the easiest post-All-Star game schedule of any of the contending teams.
The Braves only play 19 games against teams currently over .500 for the rest of the season, and do not travel further west than St. Louis. Atlanta, with the best home record in the majors at 31-15, will play the majority of its remaining games at Turner Field as well. It is vital that the Braves take advantage of this favorable schedule.
Atlanta Braves – PlayerWatch
1B Freddie Freeman (left thumb) didn’t play on July 14 after hurting the thumb on his glove hand on a tag in the first inning July 13. Initial X-rays were negative, but it was decided that he wouldn’t play in the All-Star Game on July 17.
1B Freddie Freeman sat out Sunday’s game against the Reds because of swelling in his left thumb and won’t play in Tuesday’s All-Star Game. He was hurt making a tag in the first inning Saturday. “Just one of those freak injuries I seem to run into every single year,” he said. Freeman will still travel to New York for the All-Star Game. He won the final vote for a spot on the National League team. Freeman is hitting .308 overall and .433 with runners in scoring position.