[MLB.com] How every team’s players fared at Futures Game - Yoan Lopez was the Arizona Diamondbacks lone representative in the Futures Game, representing Cuba for the World Team. He only faced one batter, Baltimore Orioles number one prospect Ryan Mountcastle, and struck him out to end the 5th inning. It’s the latest chapter for the young man who continues to put his troubled start with the Diamondbacks behind him.
[D’backs.com] Group effort turned slumping Goldy into All-Star - I’ll repeat what I said in the most recent round table. I’m not sure that I could have put up with an entire season of a chunk of the fan base questioning Paul Goldschmidt. Make no mistake about it his May slump was frustrating, but he deserved patience given his longstanding track record. Paul’s bat returned with a vengeance, and he credits the assistance he received from coaches Dave Magadan, Tim Laker, and Robert Van Scoyoc. Goldy went from being an afterthought in All Star voting to becoming the starting designated hitter hitting in the three hole for the National League.
“It wasn’t like I was hitting balls hard and getting out, so you couldn’t say it was just bad luck,” Goldschmidt said. “I was legitimately not playing well, not having good at-bats, not swinging at the right pitches, and when I did get a pitch to hit, I wasn’t hitting it hard enough. I was doing everything I could. That’s when I really had to make sure I was focusing on what I could control -- what I was doing in the cage, my batting practice, my mindset, the process, the preparation, and then what the results were, well, I knew I couldn’t try any harder.”
[AZ Central] Diamondbacks in contention after up-and-down start to the season - Arizona is in a much better position in the division standings this season compared to last, but that’s essentially because of the horribly slow start of the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Diamondbacks enter the break with the same amount of wins as last year, but are only a half game back for the division lead as opposed to seven and a half. The lineup lags well behind the performance for 2017, and will need to step it up in order to secure the division title.
[Arizona Sports] Paul Goldschmidt gets start as DH in 2018 MLB All-Star Game - Goldy finds himself in familiar territory hitting in the middle of a star studded lineup. He will start at designated hitter batting third for the National League. He batted cleanup for the United States during the 2017 World Baseball Classic and for the National League during the 2015 All Star Game. It speaks to how managers around the league value his bat in a lineup among some of the top players in the game.
Around the League
[ESPN] Bryce Harper wins Home Run Derby in dramatic style - Bryce Harper stepped to the plate in front of his home crowd clad in stars and stripes determined to win the 2018 Home Run Derby for the fans who have watched his entire career. His appearance was unrivaled by the likes of Captain America, Apollo Creed, and even Uncle Sam himself. It was an image sorely needed in the nation’s capital following a rough day of foreign diplomacy overseas. Harper brought home the crown in dramatic fashion bashing 9 home runs over the final minute of his regulation time to tie Kyle Schwarber of the Chicago Cubs at 18. I’ve generally been a fan of the new format of the Derby which was changed a few years ago. My only gripe is that some of the contestants and their pitchers were not waiting for the ball to land before the next pitch was thrown, as had been the rule before. This year’s contest was also lacking the firepower and name recognition of an Aaron Judge or Giancarlo Stanton, but it was still entertaining to watch Harper win it in front of Washington Nationals fans.
“This wasn’t only for me and my family and everybody like that, but this is for, you know, the cook, the guy that works the front and the people that work upstairs. I mean, this is the whole city of D.C. I was very fortunate to be able to bring this back to them and do it here.”
[The Athletic] The 2018 MLB Poll: Most intimidating? Most overrated? Players weigh in on the best (and worst) in the game - Most interesting results for this poll in my opinion were the managers players would most/least want to play for. It should be noted that quite a few players refused to answer this question, understandably so, but even still the results were polarizing. Joe Maddon was named as the manager most players would like to have and also the second least popular. Jeff Bannister and Aaron Boone also made both lists. To me that demonstrates the polarizing nature of the position, and the high emotions that come with the competitive nature of the game. Players are either going to be receptive to a manager’s methods or they aren’t.