Four Cards soaring high in NL All-Star voting

Molina, Peralta, Carpenter and Holliday on pace to start in Midsummer Classic

Four Cards soaring high in NL All-Star voting

The Midsummer Classic may wind up bearing the mark of the Cardinals. The first National League voting update of the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot was released on Wednesday, and half of the league's starters were players from St. Louis. The fans have come out in droves to support the Cardinals, yielding leads at catcher, shortstop, third base and in one of the outfield slots.

Complete results: NL All-Star ballot update

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

NL All-Star Game ballot update: May 27

NL All-Star Game ballot update: May 27

At the first update in the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot for the National League, the Cardinals have four players in line to start the July 14 Midsummer Classic at Great American Ball Park, and another four among the voting leaders.

Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper, a two-time All-Star, leads all NL players in balloting with 1,116,582 total votes.

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MLB.TV unveils new media player

MLB.TV unveils new media player

Today's schedule features a staggered rollout of 15 games from lunchtime specials through late West Coast night action, and you are about to have another one of those MLB.TV moments that make you realize how far we have come since that first live video broadcast stream by a major sports league here in 2002.

Major League Baseball Advanced Media is introducing its new Web-based media player (version 5.0), for those who currently subscribe or those who sign up now for MLB.TV Premium ($114.99 a year or $24.99 a month) or regular MLB.TV ($94.99/$19.99). You'll notice the difference right away as the HD media player has an in-page layout, so it all happens in your browser with no need for an additional download.

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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.

Syndergaard shows hitting prowess with first HR

Mets pitcher takes Phillies righty O'Sullivan deep in fourth inning

Syndergaard shows hitting prowess with first HR

NEW YORK -- The Citi Field crowd thought it was gone as soon as he hit it, but Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard didn't look quite so sure until the ball was in the stands.

Syndergaard, the Mets' top prospect, hit his first career home run in the fourth inning Wednesday afternoon, taking a 1-1 sinker from Phillies pitcher Sean O'Sullivan and lining it out to left-center field.

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

What to watch for in today's games

Matinee baseball to rule schedule; Scherzer vs. Lester at night at Wrigley

What to watch for in today's games

There are 11 day games today, but the main event is a nighttime contest involving a pair of transplanted aces.

Max Scherzer and Jon Lester both signed lucrative free-agent contracts to move from the American League to the National League in the offseason, and they're both thriving in their transition. They'll match up at Wrigley Field at 8:05 p.m. ET. 

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

Today's starting lineups: May 27

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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Cueto plays catch, has chance to start Sunday

Reds set rotation through Saturday, to evaluate ace's elbow as he progresses this week

Cueto plays catch, has chance to start Sunday

CINCINNATI -- Reds ace Johnny Cueto tested his right elbow by playing catch on Wednesday morning, while the club seems to be holding a spot for him to start this weekend.

For the three-game series vs. the Nationals, the Reds will start Anthony DeSclafani on Friday and Raisel Iglesias on Saturday. Sunday's starting assignment is currently listed as "TBA." There is a chance Cueto could get that start, manager Bryan Price said.

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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.

Explaining four incredibly fluky player stats

Explaining four incredibly fluky player stats

Nearly two months of the baseball season have been completed, and those early-season hot streaks have been sloughed off and the small-sample-size flukes have regressed back to the swamp of previously established career norms.

Adrian Gonzalez is no longer on pace to hit 270 home runs. Corey Kluber won't lose 20 games the season after his American League Cy Young Award-winning campaign of a year ago. And the New York Mets won't win 130 games.

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Michael Clair is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @clairbearattack on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Diving grabs leave Castillo with sore shoulder

Diving grabs leave Castillo with sore shoulder

MINNEAPOLIS -- Rusney Castillo injured his right shoulder on the second of two diving catches he made on Tuesday night and was not available to play defense on Wednesday.

Brock Holt made the start in right field.

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Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bumgarner-Gomez issue a clash of styles

Brewers center fielder took exception to glare from Giants ace in Tuesday's game

Bumgarner-Gomez issue a clash of styles

MILWAUKEE -- The Madison Bumgarner and Carlos Gomez dustup on Tuesday night was merely the latest collision of old school vs. new school in Major League Baseball, said Giants manager Bruce Bochy and Brewers manager Craig Counsell on Wednesday morning.

Some background: In the third inning of Tuesday's 6-3 Giants win, Gomez yelled at himself after fouling off a 0-1 fastball that split the middle of the strike zone. Bumgarner took issue and stared at Gomez, then delivered an inside fastball for ball 1. They stared at each other again before Gomez flew out on the next pitch.

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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.

Travis hopeful of returning early next week

Rehabbing second baseman cleared for fielding practice

Travis hopeful of returning early next week

TORONTO -- Injured second baseman Devon Travis fielded ground balls on Wednesday morning and remains optimistic that he'll be back in the Blue Jays' lineup at some point early next week.

Travis has been out since May 16 with inflammation in his left shoulder. He's eligible to come off the disabled list on Monday, but likely will require at least a couple of more days before returning.

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Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Rios could return to Royals on Friday

Right fielder reports no issues with left hand while on rehab assignment

Rios could return to Royals on Friday

NEW YORK -- Royals manager Ned Yost said Wednesday that Alex Rios, on a rehab assignment at Triple-A Omaha, will be re-evaluated on Thursday and could rejoin the team on Friday in Chicago for the series opener against the Cubs.

Rios, recovering from a broken left hand, has missed 38 games after being hit by a pitch in Minnesota.

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

Sox prospect Rodriguez to debut tomorrow

Sox prospect Rodriguez to debut tomorrow

MINNEAPOLIS -- Highly touted lefty prospect Eduardo Rodriguez will make his Major League debut for the Red Sox when he starts on Thursday night in Texas.

The Red Sox will make a corresponding roster move before Thursday's game. Manager John Farrell said that he isn't bumping anyone from the rotation, and that he will go with six starters this time through. The Red Sox are in the midst of a stretch of 20 games in a row without a day off.

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Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bryant's 477-foot home run hits scoreboard

Third baseman hits 477-foot blast to tie Tuesday's game vs. Nats

Bryant's 477-foot home run hits scoreboard

CHICAGO -- Kris Bryant hit some long home runs at Bonanza High School in Las Vegas and his father, Mike, will tell you that he launched one 600 feet over a light tower at Fowler Field in San Diego. On Tuesday, Bryant belted a game-tying home run that left the 30,440 at Wrigley Field stirring and may have dented the left-field video board.

Bryant hit a game-tying home run leading off the eighth inning, and Addison Russell delivered a walk-off RBI double with two outs in the ninth in the Cubs' 3-2 win over the Nationals.

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Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

5 Royals reign in 1st All-Star ballot update

5 Royals reign in 1st All-Star ballot update

Your votes are being counted, and the early results point toward a potential changing of the guard in the American League at the 2015 Midsummer Classic. The first 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Ballot update was released on Tuesday, revealing an AL landscape that has a distinct Kansas City flavor.

The league's top two vote-getters, three of the top six and four of the top eight play for the reigning AL champs and first-place Royals, with Salvador Perez (1,447,753) leading the league's catchers, Lorenzo Cain (1,376,217) leading the outfielders, Mike Moustakas (1,261,769) leading at third base and Alcides Escobar (1,191,268) leading at shortstop.

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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.

Wilson starts with Ryan en route to Oakland

Wilson starts with Ryan en route to Oakland

OAKLAND -- Left-hander Kyle Ryan is en route to Oakland but with the uncertainty of his arrival time, Tigers manager Brad Ausmus opted to start right-hander Alex Wilson against the Athletics on Wednesday.

Wilson (1-1, 2.29) has pitched multiple innings, including a career-long 3 2/3 inning stint two weeks ago, three times this month. He was making his first Major League start.

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

Power prospect: Correa hits one off building

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Power prospect: Correa hits one off building

According to MLB.com, Astros Minor Leaguer Carlos Correa is the No. 2 prospect in baseball. And according to this mammoth home run on Tuesday night, that ranking is very accurate.

Yes, completely out of the stadium, across the street and off of a building next door. That is some excellent power. 

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On Their Game: Randy Johnson and Geddy Lee

Base to bass: Hall of Famers are friends, and Big Unit rocks as a photographer

On Their Game: Randy Johnson and Geddy Lee

AUSTIN, Texas -- Amid the lights, video boards, shooting sparklers and other elaborate props that are commonplace on stage at a rock concert stands a quiet and very tall figure, dressed in blue jeans and an unassuming T-shirt, holding a camera.

He needs to be close to action, but he also has to stay out of the way of the main attraction, all the while capturing the poignant moments that will eventually document this particular moment in the band's history.

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Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

St. John's coach Mullin throws first pitch

Brooklyn native, who was an All-Star in NBA, does honors at Yankee Stadium

St. John's coach Mullin throws first pitch

NEW YORK -- There was a time, years ago, when Chris Mullin dreamed of stepping on a big league field.

On Wednesday, he made it.

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

Lyles confident in making delayed start Sunday

Rockies righty pushed back with injured toe; Hawkins nearing rehab assignment

Lyles confident in making delayed start Sunday

CINCINNATI -- Rockies right-hander Jordan Lyles, who suffered an injury to his left big toe during his last start, said he is set for his next start Sunday at Philadelphia -- two days later than originally scheduled.

Lyles (2-5, 5.10 ERA) needed the extra time after yet another freakish injury during his last start, a loss to the Giants. Lyles dominated the first three innings, suffered the injury after a Hunter Pence single in the fourth and aggravated it after Matt Duffy's RBI single two batters later. He faced three batters in the fifth and left having been charged with six runs, five earned.

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

Santana back in lineup; Salazar should make next start

Both players OK after sustaining injuries Tuesday vs. Rangers

Santana back in lineup; Salazar should make next start

CLEVELAND -- One day after they each dealt with injury issues, first baseman Carlos Santana and starter Danny Salazar were on the mend for the Indians.

Santana was hit on the left wrist by a pitch from Texas reliever Shawn Tolleson in the ninth inning of Tuesday's 4-3 loss to the Rangers. The first baseman stayed in the game, and X-rays came back negative for structural damage, but manager Terry Francona was still surprised that Santana felt well enough to play on Wednesday.

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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.

Rays grant Balfour release from Minors

Right-hander tallied just 4 1/3 innings with Tampa Bay in 2015

Rays grant Balfour release from Minors

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays announced on Wednesday that right-handed pitcher Grant Balfour was granted his release from his Minor League contract, ending his stint with Triple-A Durham.

Balfour was designated for assignment on April 19 after making six appearances for the Rays, allowing three runs in 4 1/3 innings, but re-signed with the club on May 1. In eight appearances for the Bulls, he posted a 2.79 ERA in 9 2/3 innings.

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Troy Provost-Heron is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mets plan to use 6-man rotation into August

Mets plan to use 6-man rotation into August

NEW YORK -- Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen said Wednesday that the club plans to stick with a six-man rotation through mid-August after it is implemented next week.

Warthen said Dillon Gee will enter the rotation either Tuesday or Wednesday in San Diego, with the goal to shred about three starts from each starter's workload as the summer progresses.

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

MLB.com Columnist

Lyle Spencer

Monday reflects on selection in 1965 Draft

Monday reflects on selection in 1965 Draft

LOS ANGELES -- Rick Monday was a few days away from driving from Arizona State University to the 1965 College World Series championship in Omaha, Neb., when word arrived that he'd been taken by the Kansas City A's with the first overall pick in Major League Baseball's inaugural First-Year Player Draft.

Fifty years later, Monday reflected on the momentous events swirling around that 19-year-old kid. Two years earlier, his mother had promised a persistent scout named Tommy Lasorda that her son -- having just graduated from Santa Monica (Calif.) High School -- would sign with the Los Angeles Dodgers after attending college. The Draft altered those plans.

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Lyle Spencer is a national reporter and columnist for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @LyleMSpencer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jim Callis

Breakdown of 2015 Draft signing bonus pools

Houston has record total with 2 of top 5 selections, followed by Rockies, D-backs, Braves

Breakdown of 2015 Draft signing bonus pools

After an unprecedented three-year run of owning the No. 1 overall pick in the First-Year Player Draft, the Astros won't get whomever they want this year. But they still have more spending power than any club.

Houston has an allocated bonus pool of $17,289,200 for the first 10 rounds. To put that amount in perspective, the largest bonus outlay by a team in a single Draft had been $17,005,700 by the 2011 Pirates, who paid a record $8 million to No. 1 overall choice Gerrit Cole and $5 million to second-rounder Josh Bell.

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Closer Report: 9th edition, 2015

Closer Report: 9th edition, 2015

Rondon is struggling for Cubs
The Cubs are living up to some of the hype they had coming into the season, but they're doing it in spite of their bullpen. A big part of those issues has been their closer, Hector Rondon. While his overall numbers aren't too bad, he's struggled this month and is performing worse in just about every category than he did last season. Rondon has been giving up much more hard contact this season, including just about a home run per nine innings, a 34 percent line-drive rate as well as a .333 BABIP. With all of that being said, his job as the team's closer still looks safe, just not as safe as it was a couple of weeks ago. Rondon is certainly not someone I would look to drop, and I wouldn't go dropping a valuable setup man to chase saves here outside of the deepest of leagues.

If you do decide to go that route, Pedro Strop would be the man to target, with Neil Ramirez, Justin Grimm and Jason Motte being other possibilities. The other name to watch is Rafael Soriano. Although nothing seems imminent, the Cubs were connected to the free-agent reliever last week.

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

Smolinski optioned to Triple-A; Edwards recalled

Smolinski optioned to Triple-A; Edwards recalled

CLEVELAND -- The Rangers made a roster move shortly before Wednesday afternoon's game in Cleveland, optioning outfielder Jake Smolinski to Triple-A Round Rock and recalling right-handed pitcher Jon Edwards.

The move gives a taxed Rangers bullpen a much-needed eighth arm. Closer Shawn Tolleson has thrown three consecutive days. Ross Ohlendorf, Keone Kela, Sam Freeman and Tanner Scheppers have each thrown two of the past three days. Alex Claudio threw 61 pitches on Monday. The only pitcher who hasn't thrown his week is Anthony Bass.

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

Braves land Uribe, pitcher in Callaspo trade

Braves land Uribe, pitcher in Callaspo trade

LOS ANGELES -- Once Alberto Callaspo reversed his decision by agreeing to be traded to the Dodgers, the Braves took advantage of an opportunity to acquire a high-upside reliever in exchange for four players who did not fit into their current or future plans.

If Major League Baseball provides approval after reviewing the trade on Wednesday morning, the Braves will receive right-handed reliever Chris Withrow and veteran third baseman Juan Uribe in exchange for Callaspo, Eric Stults, Ian Thomas and Juan Jaime.

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

MLB.com Columnist

Fred Zinkie

Fantasy chat: Hunter vs. Soler and more

Fantasy chat: Hunter vs. Soler and more

MLB.com fantasy guru Fred Zinkie fielded questions from fans during a live Twitter chat at @Fantasy411 on Tuesday. Questions and answers have been edited for clarity.

@Brett_McNeill_: Torii Hunter or Jorge Soler?

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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.