Key things to watch for in today's games

Estrada faces Red Sox after 2 near no-nos; AL division leaders meet in Houston

Key things to watch for in today's games

After just nine games on Monday, all 30 teams are back in action today for a full slate.

Cast your Esurance All-Star ballot for #ASGWorthy players

More

Joey Nowak is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joeynowak. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Trout of sight: Star robs 2 hits, slugs 20th HR

Trout of sight: Star robs 2 hits, slugs 20th HR

ANAHEIM -- The challenge came from bench coach Dino Ebel in the early stages of Spring Training. He told the Angels' outfielders to get used to playing shallow, because he felt they had the speed to get back on balls and because he wanted to continually take away the bloop singles. Ebel was talking to every outfielder on the 40-man roster, but really, he was talking to Mike Trout.

Cast your Esurance All-Star ballot for Trout and other #ASGWorthy players

More

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

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

Keuchel reaping rewards of Astros' success

After years below .500, Houston ace and Co. enjoy the view from the top

Keuchel reaping rewards of Astros' success

HOUSTON -- When Dallas Keuchel discusses his emergence as one of baseball's best pitchers, there are times when he simply stops and tries to put the whole crazy ride into context.

Cast your Esurance All-Star ballot for #ASGWorthy players

More

Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. Read his blog, Justice4U. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Roger Schlueter

Stats of the Day: Good as Gold in first half

D-backs first baseman in position to join trio with impressive OPS, SB tallies

Stats of the Day: Good as Gold in first half

Here are four interesting items from around the big leagues on Monday:

• In the D-backs' 10-6 win over the Dodgers, Paul Goldschmidt singled twice and stole two bases. The first baseman has 15 steals to accompany his 1.104 OPS. Three players in the All-Star era finished a first half of a season with at least 15 steals and an OPS of at least 1.100: Larry Walker in 1997 (1.237 with 19 SB), Jeff Bagwell in '99 (1.109 with 17) and Eric Davis in '87 (1.106 with 33).

More

Roger Schlueter is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

In final days, many ASG races up for grabs

Donaldson, Cruz take leads; Frazier, Altuve narrowly trail leaders

In final days, many ASG races up for grabs

Josh Donaldson and Nelson Cruz have taken leads at their positions, Omar Infante and Jose Altuve are still in a close race, Todd Frazier is making a strong bid to be a hometown starter, and both outfields are far from decided as voting via the thrilling 2015 Esurance All-Star Game Ballot heads toward its finish at 11:59 p.m. ET on Thursday.

Cast your Esurance All-Star ballot for #ASGWorthy players

More

Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cole finds comfort as the Cy Young slayer

Ace will face fellow strikeout artist Verlander in Pirates-Tigers series opener

Cole finds comfort as the Cy Young slayer

PITTSBURGH -- Back during Gerrit Cole's 2013 Major League infancy, before he'd established any discernible identity (aside from the celebrity of being the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 MLB Draft), just to clue in the sort of pitcher they were talking about, some journalists referred to him as "Gerrit Verlander." You know, comfortably in the mid-90s and able to dial it up to triple digits when needed in the later innings.

Cast your Esurance All-Star ballot for #ASGWorthy players

More

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer and on his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

McCullers, Altuve lead Astros over Royals

McCullers, Altuve lead Astros over Royals

HOUSTON -- Jose Altuve kickstarted the Astros' three-run third inning with his seventh home run, matching a career high, while Lance McCullers allowed just one run over seven innings as the Astros topped the Royals, 6-1, on Monday.

Cast your Esurance All-Star ballot for #ASGWorthy players

More

Chris Abshire is a contributor to MLB.com and Chandler Rome is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Son of 'Pudge' flirts with no-no in front of dad

Rodriguez goes 6 1/3 innings before allowing a hit in fourth career start

Son of 'Pudge' flirts with no-no in front of dad

The stars nearly aligned for Dereck Rodriguez -- son of the former 14-time All-Star catcher, Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez -- on Monday.

With his dad in the crowd, the Rookie League Elizabethton hurler didn't allow a hit until he gave up a single to Bristol's Carlos Munoz with one out in the seventh. He worked around the base hit and finished with seven strikeouts vs. just one walk over seven shutout innings as the E-Twins blanked the Pirates, 6-0.

More

Alex M. Smith is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Guillermo shows danger of paper ballots in ASG sketch

|
Guillermo shows danger of paper ballots in ASG sketch

If you're anything like me, you likely never knew quite how dangerous paper was. After all, haven't people been reading, writing and doodling on paper for years? Aren't our homes and libraries stuffed full of books, comics and takeout menus from places that closed years ago? And, more importantly, wasn't paper used in the most important of elections -- namely, the All-Star Game -- for decades? 

This year, Major League Baseball did away with the tiny-cut-giving, fire-starting paper ballots in place of an online-only voting option. On Monday's episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live, Guillermo showed off just how much better his life is with the new online ballot. Taking his house from this: 

Continue Reading on Cut4

Hamilton's legs, Frazier's spark lift Reds

Hamilton's legs, Frazier's spark lift Reds

CINCINNATI -- In a game where a cornucopia of runs were scored in the early innings, the Reds held off the Twins to claim a series-opening 11-7 victory on Monday night at Great American Ball Park.

Cast your Esurance All-Star ballot for #ASGWorthy players

More

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Fred Zinkie

Davis powers Orioles' homer potential

Davis powers Orioles' homer potential

Welcome to DraftKings fantasy baseball, the Official Daily Fantasy Game of Major League Baseball.

Cast your Esurance All-Star ballot for #ASGWorthy players

More

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.

Pederson raps 20th HR, nears NL rookie mark

Dodgers outfielder two away from record for dingers before July

Pederson raps 20th HR, nears NL rookie mark

PHOENIX -- Dodgers rookie slugger Joc Pederson continues to polish up the resume for All-Star consideration.

Cast your Esurance All-Star ballot for Pederson and other #ASGWorthy players

More

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

With 4 SBs, Hamilton races to 40-steal mark

Back in leadoff spot, speedy center fielder collects two hits, two walks, scores three runs

With 4 SBs, Hamilton races to 40-steal mark

CINCINNATI -- On Monday night, Billy Hamilton did what he does best: run fast and steal bases.

Cast your Esurance All-Star ballot for #ASGWorthy players

More

Robert Bondy is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sparks, Vlad join star-studded ASG Softball roster

Singers, sports figures join previously announced legends and celebrities for event

Sparks, Vlad join star-studded ASG Softball roster

While fans are making important All-Star roster decisions of their own, Major League Baseball on Tuesday announced that fan favorites Jordin Sparks, Urban Meyer, Cole Swindell, Olivia Holt, Chad Lowe, Rollie Fingers, Ozzie Smith and Vlad Guerrero have been added to the rosters for the 15th annual MLB All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game on July 12 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.

Cast your Esurance All-Star ballot for #ASGWorthy players

More

Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Altuve continues power surge in latest victory

Second baseman matches career high with seventh homer on Monday

Altuve continues power surge in latest victory

HOUSTON -- With a batting title in tow, Jose Altuve's already known as a high-average hitter. But the star second baseman is starting to tap into some power.

Cast your Esurance All-Star ballot for Altuve and other #ASGWorthy players

More

Chandler Rome is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

#ASGWorthy Cespedes surpassing expectations

#ASGWorthy Cespedes surpassing expectations

DETROIT -- The Tigers expected Yoenis Cespedes, who is vying to start in the All-Star Game in Cincinnati via the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot, to add punch to their lineup this year, but even manager Brad Ausmus admitted he didn't know the left fielder would be quite this good.

Cast your Esurance All-Star ballot for Cespedes and other #ASGWorthy players

More

Alejandro Zúñiga is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ByAZuniga. 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.

Clubs have not announced or confirmed bonuses.

More

Rangers hit four homers, overpower Orioles

Rangers hit four homers, overpower Orioles

BALTIMORE -- The Rangers broke out of their slump in a big way, homering four times and unloading on the Orioles to pick up their second win in nine games, an 8-1 series-opening victory Monday night at Camden Yards.

Cast your Esurance All-Star ballot for #ASGWorthy players

More

Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Britt's Bird Watch, follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast. Connor Smolensky is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Belisario's tracking system was offline on wild pitch

|
Belisario's tracking system was offline on wild pitch

I don't want to alarm you (if you're even able to read this without THE MAN taking the post down), but many Major League players have already been replaced by robots. It's true. With the great advances that medical science is making, all in the hopes of building a robot society that we can upload our consciousnesses into and therefore live forever, they knew they needed to test them out. Enter Major League Baseball. 

I mean, how else can you explain this:

Continue Reading on Cut4

D-backs get best of Dodgers with comebacks

D-backs get best of Dodgers with comebacks

PHOENIX -- Welington Castillo doubled home Jake Lamb to trigger a four-run eighth inning as the D-backs rallied to beat the Dodgers on Monday night, 10-6, snapping Los Angeles' seven-game win streak over Arizona.

Cast your Esurance All-Star ballot for #ASGWorthy players

More

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. Jake Rill is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Graveman, homers help A's cruise past Rox

Graveman, homers help A's cruise past Rox

OAKLAND -- The A's got home runs from Josh Reddick, Ike Davis and Billy Butler, powering their way to a 7-1 win against the Rockies in Monday's series opener at the Coliseum to snap a three-game losing streak.

Cast your Esurance All-Star ballot for #ASGWorthy players

More

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, and like his Facebook page. Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Aggressive Granderson earning his contract

Veteran outfielder's average exit velocity up nearly 3 mph since May 10

Aggressive Granderson earning his contract

Mets fans can be forgiven for constantly asking when their team is going to go out and get a hitter, because the offense -- currently 26th in run scoring at 3.58 per game -- has clearly not done its part to support the consistently excellent pitching, which is sixth at 3.73 runs allowed per game. Thanks to injuries to David Wright, Daniel Murphy and Travis d'Arnaud, and disappointing performances from most of the rest of the lineup, the only two consistently above-average hitters in Queens have been Lucas Duda and Curtis Granderson.

It might be surprising to see Granderson referred to as "above average," considering that he's hit only 33 homers in his first year-and-a-half with the Mets after topping 41 in each of his final two fully healthy years with the Yankees, or that he's tied for just 111th in runs batted in with 27. (Nevermind that he's led off in 70 of 77 Mets games.) For the $60 million he's receiving over four years, many fans seem to have expected more.

More

Mike Petriello (@mike_petriello) is an analyst for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

All-Star starters to be revealed Sunday night

Reserves, Final Vote candidates announced next Monday on ESPN

All-Star starters to be revealed Sunday night

While you continue to vote in these final and frenetic days of the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot, Major League Baseball announced today that the starting position players will be unveiled in a new manner at 7:30 p.m. ET Sunday on the "Esurance All-Star Starters Selection Show" on ESPN, prior to the "Sunday Night Baseball" matchup featuring the Giants and Nationals.

Cast your Esurance All-Star ballot for #ASGWorthy players

More

Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pujols up for one last Home Run Derby

Pujols up for one last Home Run Derby

ANAHEIM -- If Angels first baseman Albert Pujols is chosen for the All-Star Game, a growing possibility given his scorching hot month of June, he'd like to take part in the Gillette Home Run Derby.

Cast your Esurance All-Star ballot for Pujols and other #ASGWorthy players

More

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

Tribe's Anderson flirts with perfection vs. Rays

Tribe's Anderson flirts with perfection vs. Rays

ST. PETERSBURG -- Rookie right-hander Cody Anderson handcuffed the Rays, while the Indians' offense had 13 hits in a 7-1 win on Monday night at Tropicana Field.

Cast your Esurance All-Star ballot for #ASGWorthy players

More

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. Listen to his podcast. Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Making late push, Frazier pads ASG resume

Closing in on lead, Reds 3B eager to represent Cincy; voting ends Thursday at 11:59 p.m. ET

Making late push, Frazier pads ASG resume

CINCINNATI -- With only a few days remaining in the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot voting, Todd Frazier added more reasoning Monday for why he deserves to be the National League's starting third baseman.

Cast your Esurance All-Star ballot for Frazier and other #ASGWorthy players

More

Robert Bondy is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

McCullers continues to impress in rookie campaign

Right-hander allows just one run over seven strong frames for Houston

McCullers continues to impress in rookie campaign

HOUSTON -- By now, Astros manager A.J. Hinch knows what to expect from rookie pitcher Lance McCullers.

Cast your Esurance All-Star ballot for #ASGWorthy players

More

Chandler Rome is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MacPhail to be Phillies president after season

Veteran executive will first be special assistant to Gillick

MacPhail to be Phillies president after season

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies launched a new era Monday afternoon when ownership partner John Middleton introduced Andy MacPhail as the team's next president.

MacPhail's arrival is a significant change for the organization. Middleton's involvement with the announcement is, too.

More

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone, follow him on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Manaea among 10 top prospect performers Monday

Royals' No. 2 looks sharp in first start in 10 months for Blue Rocks

Manaea among 10 top prospect performers Monday

Sean Manaea is back on track.

The Royals' No. 2 prospect (No. 45 overall) made his return to Class A Advanced Wilmington on Monday -- 10 months after he pitched his most recent game for the Blue Rocks. The results were promising -- six hits, three runs (one earned), eight strikeouts and no walks in five innings -- with the most important stat being zero: as in, zero concerns about his health.

More

Alex M. Smith is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Where top Draft picks are making their debuts

Where top Draft picks are making their debuts

As soon as the Draft ended on June 10, all 30 teams set off on the task of signing all of these potentially new acquisitions. From there, they are assigned to Minor League affiliates, largely at the lower levels, to begin their pro careers.

As of Monday, 28 of the 36 first-round picks from the 2015 Draft had signed or agreed to terms. Eighteen have taken the first official step and have made their debuts. Many more will follow soon.

More

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com and writes a blog, B3. Follow @JonathanMayoB3 on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.