#ASGWorthy: Ohio Cup loaded at shortstop

Tribe's Lindor, Reds' Cozart candidates to bring skills to Midsummer Classic

#ASGWorthy: Ohio Cup loaded at shortstop

The Ohio Cup is always appointment viewing, for little reason other than it pins two intrastate rivals who happen to be two of the more storied franchises in baseball against one another.

But the 2017 version of the series -- which begins tonight at 7:10 pm ET at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati -- adds another level of intrigue.

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Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Fulmer, Tigers take aim at Astros on MLB.TV

Fulmer, Tigers take aim at Astros on MLB.TV

Reigning American League Rookie of the Year Michael Fulmer is in the midst of a fantastic second season in the Majors, posting quality starts in all eight of his outings.

The 24-year-old will look to make it nine straight as he and the Tigers take on the first-place Astros at Minute Maid Park as part of an abbreviated nine-game slate tonight, streaming live on MLB.TV.

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Oliver Macklin is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington, D.C. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Dee, fence: The adventures of Giancarlo

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Dee, fence: The adventures of Giancarlo

Like a giant that accidentally destroys entire cities with a single step, Giancarlo Stanton crushes baseballs at speeds and distances that should be impossible. His forearms are like tiny galaxies and his biceps are like mountain ranges. Frankly, Stanton is too strong for our world. 

He displayed that yet again as the Marlins played the Dodgers on Sunday.

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Mazara: My dream came true, but it wasn't easy

Mazara: My dream came true, but it wasn't easy

My name is Nomar Mazara, but you can call me "Big Chill." I'm cool with that. I'm an outfielder for the Texas Rangers, and this is me in real life.

Baseball means everything in the Dominican Republic. It's the top sport there, and every little kid dreams of being in the Major Leagues. I'm only 22, but I have come a long way from sleeping in my baseball uniform with my glove under my pillow in Santo Domingo when I was a boy.

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Nomar Mazara is a 22-year-old outfielder for the Texas Rangers. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Today's starting lineups: May 22

Below are today's starting lineups that have been made public by Major League Baseball's clubs.

A lineup is not official until it is handed to the umpire.

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David Ross' amazing journey to DWTS finale

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David Ross' amazing journey to DWTS finale

While you were watching the thrilling Cubs-Indians World Series last fall, would the phrase "David Ross is in the 'Dancing with the Stars' finale" have made any sense whatsoever?

The answer to the above question is "no," but that's the world we live in now. On Monday, the 2016 Cubs' elder statesman/team grandfather will go head-to-head with the last two contestants (Normani Kordei and Rashad Jennings) on the dance competition show for a shot at the ultimate title (ABC, 8/7 CT). 

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Theo Epstein gives inspiring speech at Yale

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Theo Epstein gives inspiring speech at Yale

Theo Epstein graduated from Yale in 1995. As befits his status as "World's Greatest Leader," he joined the ranks of such luminaries as Joe Biden, John Kerry and Tom Hanks by returning to the campus to speak at Class Day.

He tossed at least one Maddon-ism into his speech, telling students, "if you look hot, wear it." As you can see above, they seem to have anticipated the remark, since at least one third of them appear to be wearing emoji hats.

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MLB.com Columnist

Mark Feinsand

Torres next in line of Baby Bombers?

Torres next in line of Baby Bombers?

NEW YORK -- Gleyber Torres is slated to make his Triple-A debut on Tuesday, leading to an obvious question: Could his Major League debut be too far behind?

Torres, the Yankees' No. 1 prospect according to MLBPipeline.com, hit .273/.367/.496 with five home runs, 18 RBIs and five stolen bases in 32 games with Double-A Trenton, hitting four of those homers during a five-game stretch last week.

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Mark Feinsand, an executive reporter, originally joined MLB.com as a reporter in 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Boston U gives Big Papi an honorary degree

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Boston U gives Big Papi an honorary degree

Do you remember your own college graduation? It was probably pretty fun, but there's no way it was as fun as Boston University's class of 2017. Why, you ask? Well, just look who got an honorary degree. Yes, that's David Ortiz.

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Judge's defense doesn't rest: 'Awesome play'

4-star catch in 6th preserves 1-run lead, ends up being difference

Judge's defense doesn't rest: 'Awesome play'

ST. PETERSBURG -- Aaron Judge's bat has made plenty of noise this season, but it was the rookie outfielder's defense that had people talking on Sunday afternoon after his game-saving catch robbed the Rays' Evan Longoria in the Yankees' 3-2 victory at Tropicana Field.

With the Yankees leading by that same score in the sixth inning, Judge raced into the right-center-field gap to run down Longoria's drive off reliever Chad Green -- snaring it with a full-extension dive onto the turf -- then relayed it back to the infield as Corey Dickerson was doubled off.

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Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and on Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pence family may open gaming coffee shop

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Pence family may open gaming coffee shop

Last week, Hunter Pence and his wife Alexis were on the #AskGaryVee YouTube show and podcast, where they answered a few questions about life in baseball and revealed a crucial fact about themselves: They are both huge nerds. Now, we say that affectionately.

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MLB.com Columnist

Fred Zinkie

5 discounted fantasy studs to acquire now

Miggy, Machado, deGrom among best buy-low options

5 discounted fantasy studs to acquire now

The trade market is rife with opportunity for those who have the courage to buy low on players who have started the season in disappointing fashion.

While some slow starters are at the outset of an unremarkable campaign, many others are set to turn their 2017 season around in the coming weeks. With the goal of making long-term lineup improvements, wise owners should immediately make buy-low offers on the following five guys.

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Fred Zinkie is the lead fantasy baseball writer for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @FredZinkieMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lamb takes NL Player of Week honor

D-backs third baseman had four homers, 10 RBIs in five games

Lamb takes NL Player of Week honor

Jake Lamb's ascent to one of the most feared cleanup hitters in the Majors got back on track this week, as the Diamondbacks third baseman started sizzling again after a two-week slump.

Lamb was named National League Player of the Week for his efforts, a monster seven-day stretch in which the left-handed hitter drove in 10 runs in five games.

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Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Cubs' Caratini, D-backs' Reed repeat on Prospect Team of the Week

Cubs' Caratini, D-backs' Reed repeat on Prospect Team of the Week

MLBPipeline.com's Prospect Team of the Week honors the best performances in the Minor Leagues from the previous seven days. Any player on an organization Top 30 Prospects list on our Prospect Watch is eligible.

This week's Prospect Team of the Week features our first two repeat performers, an organization hitting the list for the first time and the youngest player to make the team so far this year.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

J.D. Martinez named AL Player of Week

Tigers outfielder hit four homers, reached base 17 times

J.D. Martinez named AL Player of Week

Due to a foot injury that forced him to miss the first month and a half, this week was essentially J.D. Martinez's first playing this season. Consider him 1-for-1 in American League Player of the Week honors.

Martinez was named the winner of the award on Monday following a seven-day stretch in which he helped carry the Tigers' slugging offense. Martinez went 7-for-18 (.389) with four home runs and nine RBIs, reaching base 17 times in a six-game stretch.

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Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Start your own season by purchasing R.B.I. Baseball

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Start your own season by purchasing R.B.I. Baseball
R.B.I. Baseball 2017 is here, and it can be yours today.

The Corey Seager-adorned game (or Kevin Pillar if you're in Canada) is available to purchase in North America at GameStop, Best Buy, Walmart, Target and MLB.com, among other participating outlets. Globally, it's accessible as a digital download on the Xbox Marketplace, PlayStation Store and the App Store on iPhone and iPad.

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Cron optioned to Triple-A; Fontana recalled

Cron optioned to Triple-A; Fontana recalled

On Monday, the Angels optioned C.J. Cron, who'd been a fixture in the team's first base/designated-hitter mix for the better part of four seasons, to Triple-A Salt Lake.

Cron, who hit his first home run of the season Sunday, hit .232/.281/.305 over 24 games this season.

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Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Tebow goes oppo for third homer of season

Tebow goes oppo for third homer of season

Tim Tebow hit his third home run of the 2017 Minor League season, a line-drive solo shot to left-center field Sunday.

Tebow's homer came in the fifth inning of Class A Columbia's game against the West Virginia Power, the Pirates' Class A affiliate, putting the Fireflies on the board.

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David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Yan's long HR stops Astros in their tracks

Yan's long HR stops Astros in their tracks

HOUSTON -- In Yan Gomes' first at-bat on Sunday, he just missed hitting a home run to left field at Minute Maid Park. The Indians' catcher made sure the ball got out in his following plate appearance against Houston starter Joe Musgrove.

Gomes hammered Musgrove's third-inning offering a projected 457 feet to left, according to Statcast™. His third homer of the season, a three-run shot, gave Cleveland a 5-1 lead en route to its 8-6 series-sweeping win over the Astros.

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Richard Dean is a contributor to MLB.com based in Houston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Week Ahead: Postseason preview brewing?

Surprise contenders D-backs, Brewers meet for 4-game series in Milwaukee

Week Ahead: Postseason preview brewing?

Something's brewing in Major League Baseball as the weather heats up. Something's brewing in Milwaukee and Arizona, too.

The last full week in May is upon us, and the Brewers and D-backs, largely expected to rebuild in the National League Central and West, respectively, are contending in their divisions with almost a third of the season in the books. And they're looking good doing it, too.

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Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bryant's blasts, big bats lead Cubs past Crew

Bryant's blasts, big bats lead Cubs past Crew

CHICAGO -- Kris Bryant hit two of the Cubs' four home runs in a 13-6 rout of the Brewers on Sunday at Wrigley Field, making it clear the defending World Series champions do not intend to let upstart Milwaukee run away with the National League Central.

Ben Zobrist and Anthony Rizzo also homered, and Willson Contreras collected three hits and three RBIs as the Cubs scored in every inning but the second to back Jake Arrieta for a split of the rain-shortened series. Chicago remained two games behind first-place Milwaukee by handing the Brewers only the third loss in their past 13 games.

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Scott Chasen is a reporter with MLB.com and covered the Cubs on Sunday.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. 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.

MiLB partners with MLB for Play Ball initiative

Teams across Majors, Minors to host events for community, youth

MiLB partners with MLB for Play Ball initiative

Major League Baseball announced Monday that Minor League Baseball and its clubs are joining in on the Play Ball initiative, meaning further exponential growth is likely, following Thursday's revelation that baseball and softball combined to rank as the most-participated team sport in the U.S. in 2016, with 25 million participants.

MiLB has become an official partner of the Play Ball initiative, the sport's largest collective effort to encourage young people to participate in baseball- or softball-related activities. Through this partnership, MiLB will support the second annual Play Ball Weekend, including spearheading the effort's official launch with the Triple-A Oklahoma City Dodgers on June 2, as well as Play Ball Summer, with the U.S. Conference of Mayors, in hosting more than 200 youth- and community-focused events throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico from June to August.

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Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com and a baseball writer since 1990. Follow him @Marathoner and read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com/blogs hub. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Tracy Ringolsby

Rockies' success the result of good planning

Youngest rotation in MLB leads Colorado to NL-best start

Rockies' success the result of good planning

The Colorado Rockies have the youngest starting rotation in baseball. They have an offense that right now would rank as the third least productive in franchise history. And they had a National League-best 28-17 record going into Monday night's game at Philadelphia.

No longer is general manager Jeff Bridich being asked about the lack of effort the Rockies put into signing veteran starting pitchers to fill out their rotation or the decision to sign Ian Desmond off the free-agent market to be their first baseman instead of the likes of Mike Napoli or Mark Trumbo.

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Tracy Ringolsby is a national columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Salvy on Target with 3 HRs in doubleheader

Salvy on Target with 3 HRs in doubleheader

MINNEAPOLIS -- It has gotten to the point that Salvador Perez may actually want to play all his games at Target Field.

Perez clubbed three home runs in Sunday's doubleheader split against the Twins, including two in an 8-4 loss in Game 2. The trio of homers tied Bill Pecota for a franchise record in a twin bill. And his 13 career homers at Target Field is the second most by an opponent, behind Toronto's Jose Bautista 14 blasts.

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Shane Jackson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Minneapolis. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bullpen of the Week: Astros

Sipp solid in sub; Giles, Devenski, Peacock, Harris also stellar

Bullpen of the Week: Astros

So far this season, the Houston Astros are the best team in baseball. Despite a loss to the Indians on Sunday, Houston retains the best record in the Major Leagues at 29-15. The Astros are comfortably ahead in the American League West. And one good reason for that success is their relief pitching.

The Astros went 3-3 during a week that saw them experience some adversity in the form of staff ace Dallas Keuchel going on the 10-day disabled list with a pinched nerve in his neck, but the relievers helped keep them afloat with stellar work. As a result, they have won the honor of "MLB Bullpen of the Week presented by The Hartford."

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Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

A Houston youth team shared its thoughts on statistics and revealed a flashy championship belt

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A Houston youth team shared its thoughts on statistics and revealed a flashy championship belt

There's a compelling argument to be made that our best days as sports fans come in childhood. In our youthful exuberance, every moment of every game serves as a potential source of joy and wonder. We don't care whether our team is good or bad; that sort of narrative is too long-term for a kid.

It's no surprise then that when Astros broadcaster Julia Morales paid a visit to a youth baseball team during the fifth inning of Sunday's 8-6 loss to the Indians the conversation was wide-ranging and full of excitement.

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MLB News Quiz: Dingers, dance-offs and more

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MLB News Quiz: Dingers, dance-offs and more

There was plenty of rain (and rain-related shenanigans) in the forecast this week, but that doesn't mean there wasn't plenty of actual baseball. Dingers were dinged, benches were cleared and the veil between pitcher and position player threatened to dissolve entirely. 

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MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

Justice: Indians proving to be road warriors

Back atop AL Central, Cleveland must stake claim on home turf

Justice: Indians proving to be road warriors

HOUSTON -- The Cleveland Indians did not look at this weekend series against the high-flying Astros as anything more than the next three games on their schedule, and isn't that how really good teams always see the world?

"We just try to play the game we're playing," manager Terry Francona said. "I think that's always kind of how we feel."

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Richard Justice has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2011. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @RichardJustice This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rally bird stops by Reds' broadcast booth

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Rally bird stops by Reds' broadcast booth

Heading into the bottom of the sixth inning on Sunday, the Reds trailed the Rockies, 6-1. At the end of the bottom of the sixth, Colorado's lead had been cut to 6-4. What did Cincinnati have to thank for this abrupt reversal of fortunes? The Rally Bird.

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Stras, Murphy lift Nats over Braves

Stras, Murphy lift Nats over Braves

ATLANTA -- Stephen Strasburg delivered his best start of the season and Daniel Murphy homered off an effective Jaime Garcia as the Nationals snapped their longest losing streak of the season (4 games) with Sunday afternoon's 3-2 win over the Braves at SunTrust Park.

Strasburg notched a season-high 11 strikeouts and surrendered two runs over 7 2/3 innings while helping the Nationals avoid being swept by the Braves, who lost for just the third time in their past 10 games.

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Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.