LEADING OFF: HR Derby field coming, Clevinger back up


Toronto Blue Jays’ Vladimir Guerrero Jr. throws down his bat after flying out against the Boston Red Sox during the second inning of a baseball game Tuesday, July 2, 2019, in Toronto. (Fred Thornhill/The Canadian Press via AP)

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A look at what’s happening around the majors Wednesday:


Major League Baseball is set to announce the participants for next week’s Home Run Derby. Six of the eight players are already known — Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Christian Yelich, Ronald Acuña Jr., Pete Alonso, Josh Bell and Carlos Santana. The 20-year-old Guerrero will be the youngest participant ever, 116 days younger than Ken Griffey Jr. in 1990. Guerrero practiced hitting homers during one-minute rounds in Toronto on Tuesday. Rangers slugger Joey Gallo says he won’t participate, instead being cautious after recently missing time with a left oblique strain.


Mike Clevinger hopes a matchup against Kansas City can help him get right. After his masterful start to the season was cut short by a back injury, the Indians right-hander has had a lousy go of it. Over two starts since returning, he’s allowed 12 runs in 6 1/3 innings, including a seven-run mishap against the lowly Orioles last time out. Cleveland is on the AL postseason bubble, and Clevinger’s status could influence the team’s direction at the trade deadline.


St. Louis will be without Matt Carpenter through the All-Star break after placing the infielder on the IL on Tuesday with a lower back strain. Cardinals manager Mike Shildt said Carpenter was extremely ill over the weekend, taking three bags of intravenous fluids Sunday, and tweaked his back while laid up. Shildt said this is not a long-term injury and that Carpenter could have been rushed back into the lineup for the San Francisco series this weekend. But the team decided to allow him to recuperate and gain back the weight he lost while sick.


Steven Matz is moving to the bullpen for now as the Mets again overhaul a major problem area with a flurry of roster moves. Veteran relievers Jeurys Familia, Justin Wilson and Luis Avilán were reinstated from the injured list before Tuesday’s game against the Yankees, and Brooks Pounders, Chris Flexen, Stephen Nogosek and Chris Mazza were sent to Triple-A. New York’s bullpen began the day leading the majors with 21 blown saves in 40 chances, ranked second with 19 losses and was 28th out of 30 teams in ERA at 5.64. The relievers posted a big league-worst 7.53 ERA in June and were 3-12 with an 8.05 ERA since May 27.


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