Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. Beth Maiman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
ANAHEIM -- Jerry Dipoto decided to step down from his position as Angels general manager on Wednesday, five days after getting involved in a heated discussion with long-time manager Mike Scioscia and his coaching staff, sources told MLB.com.
Bill Stoneman, the Angels' GM when they won the World Series in 2002, is expected to be named the interim GM, with Matt Klentak staying in his post as assistant GM, a source said. At the moment, the team is not expected to pursue Bud Black, the former Padres manager who once served as the Angels' pitching coach and has been seen as a potential front-office hire.
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. Associate reporter David Adler contributed to this report. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
TORONTO -- All-Star candidate Jose Bautista broke out of his mini slump Wednesday afternoon, and the rest of the Blue Jays lineup followed suit in a dominating 11-2 victory over the Red Sox on Canada Day.
HOUSTON -- As a reward for hitting the left-field foul pole with his two-run homer in Tuesday night's 4-0 win over the Royals, Astros outfielder George Springer arrived to the clubhouse on Wednesday to a massive package from the pole's sponsor, Chick-fil-A, sitting in his locker.
CINCINNATI -- In a surprising move, the Twins optioned first baseman/designated hitter Kennys Vargas to Double-A Chattanooga after Wednesday's 2-1 loss to the Reds. The Twins will make a corresponding move before Thursday's game, and they are expected to call up top prospect Miguel Sano, according to a source familiar with the team's decision.
Byron Buxton, Kris Bryant and Carlos Correa entered 2015 ranked as MLBPipeline.com's top three prospects (in that order), then started the season in the Minors before their rejuvenated and contending parent clubs sent for them. Bryant got the call from the Cubs on April 17, Correa joined the Astros on June 8 and Buxton debuted with the Twins on June 14.
NEW YORK -- Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo appears near the top of the National League in seemingly every positive statistical category -- except votes on the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot. So with voting for the All-Star starters ending Thursday at 10:59 p.m. CT, Cubs manager Joe Maddon went to bat Wednesday for his slugging first baseman.
MIAMI -- No matter how Matt Cain performs Thursday, he'll be pitching again, which is what matters most.
Cain, the Giants' three-time All-Star right-hander, will make his first regular-season appearance since July 9, 2014, when he starts the series finale against the Marlins. The 30-year-old right-hander finally has recovered sufficiently from a flexor tendon strain that sidelined him this year, which followed surgery last August to remove bone chips and spurs from his throwing elbow.
MIAMI -- Jose Fernandez has waited nearly 14 months to return to a big league game, but that doesn't mean Miami's ace will be well-rested for his 12:10 p.m. ET start on Thursday against the Giants at Marlins Park.
The anticipation of the start has the energetic 22-year-old so amped up, he doesn't anticipate getting a good night's sleep.
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
ST. LOUIS -- The raw results, offensively, might be a tick less impressive for Jose Abreu in 2015 compared to his breakout rookie campaign of 2014. But the White Sox first baseman feels as if he's in a better place offensively.
One change made by Abreu is that he's swinging less at first pitches. Per MLB Network Gameday notes, the 2014 American League Rookie of the Year Award winner swung at 37.1 percent of first pitches last season in comparison to 18.9 percent this season. The league average is 28.8 percent in 2015.
Trevor Hass is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
2015 Draft: Signing and Bonus Tracker
Here's a complete breakdown of which 2015 Draft picks from the first 10 rounds have agreed to terms, along with their reported bonuses and starting assignments. The list will be updated through the July 17 signing deadline.
SAN DIEGO -- With Taijuan Walker cruising through six innings on just one hit with a 1-0 lead, manager Lloyd McClendon chose to lift the 22-year-old for a pinch-hitter in the top of the seventh in what turned into a 7-0 victory for the Mariners over the Padres.
ST. LOUIS -- With continued discomfort around his left wrist, Cardinals outfielder Jon Jay was held out of batting practice on Wednesday and is facing the possibility of returning to the disabled list with an injury that has been nagging him all year.
ST. LOUIS -- Jaime Garcia is unlikely to pitch in the team's upcoming series against the Padres, but the Cardinals remain optimistic that a left groin strain that has bugged the lefty for the last week won't necessitate a move to the disabled list.
It's not often that a regular season game -- especially in baseball, a marathon if there ever was one -- becomes a true classic, something that'll be talked about for years to come. But the showdown between the Yankees and Red Sox on July 1, 2004, managed to do just that, thanks to a rivalry at its peak, some of the game's biggest names, and a certain Captain's incredible dive into the crowd.
The Boston-New York rivalry had dominated the early 2000s, but in the summer of 2004, some began to wonder if the gap between the two was widening. The Yankees entered July 7.5 games up in the division, and the Red Sox turned to noted pinstripe killer Pedro Martinez to stave off a sweep and jumpstart their pennant drive.
HOUSTON -- In less than a month, Astros second baseman Jose Altuve and shortstop Carlos Correa have become more than just teammates. They have adjoining lockers. They have lunch together and sometimes dinner. They talk constantly.
Rangers left fielder out of starting lineup day after return from DL
By Connor Smolensky
BALTIMORE -- Josh Hamilton was out of the Rangers' lineup on Wednesday against the Orioles after playing in his first game since May 31 on Tuesday. The day off was scheduled when Rangers manager Jeff Banister and Hamilton first sat down to talk about his return to the lineup after being placed on the 15-day disabled list on June 4 with a strained left hamstring.
PHILADELPHIA -- Rookie Brewers right-hander Taylor Jungmann his boosted his numbers across the board since a promotion from Triple-A Colorado Springs, and he engaged in a fascinating discussion Wednesday about why that might be.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
ANAHEIM -- Yankees left-hander Andrew Miller threw 20 pitches off a bullpen mound on Wednesday at Angel Stadium, and there is a chance that he could be activated from the disabled list before the All-Star break.
ST. PETERSBURG -- Indians manager Terry Francona was not going to pretend to know the details of the reported rift between the Angels' front office and coaching staff, but the situation unfolding in Los Angeles did give him a platform to once again praise the cohesive bond that exists in Cleveland.
ATLANTA -- Manny Banuelos might no longer have the overpowering stuff that drew rave reviews from Mariano Rivera and other Yankees veterans during Spring Training in 2011. But the Braves are still looking forward to making the once-heralded prospect the latest addition to their starting rotation.
ANAHEIM -- The phone call that Taylor Dugas had been dreaming about his whole life came early Wednesday morning, ordering him to get to Philadelphia and board a cross-country flight to be in uniform for the New York Yankees that afternoon.