Avisail Garcia moves up in final days of All-Star Game voting

Avisail Garcia moves up in final days of All-Star Game voting

Major League Baseball released the latest American League All-Star voting update Monday and Avisail Garcia has jumped back into fifth place among outfielders.

The White Sox right fielder jumped past Boston's Mookie Betts since the last returns were announced on June 13.

Since then Garcia has slashed .319/.447/.819 with a homer, 5 RBIs and three doubles in 12 games.

Aaron Judge, Mike Trout and George Springer remain the top vote-getters in the outfield, though Trout won't play in the Midsumemr Classic because of a thumb injury.

On the year Garcia is batting .331 with a .904 OPS, 11 homers and 51 RBIs; the RBIs are the same number Garcia had all of last year.

Garcia is the only White sox player among the top AL vote-getters at any position.

Voting ends June 30.

A step forward for Kyle Hendricks and Cubs rotation

A step forward for Kyle Hendricks and Cubs rotation

MIAMI – Kyle Hendricks got as excited as his buttoned-up personality would allow after finishing Saturday’s pain-free throwing session and feeling no lingering effects on Sunday in his right hand.  

“Effervescent, bubbly,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said at Marlins Park. “It sounds like he is encouraged by the whole thing. Again, I told him I just want you to feel the baseball when you throw it. So we’ll just play it along and continue to stay on this program.

“Of course, it’s probably aggressive right now to think prior to the All-Star break. But you never know. I don’t want to rule anything out. Just let him go throw.”

Hendricks – who has been sidelined since early June with inflammation in a tendon on the back of his right middle finger – played catch from 60 feet and will need several more days of throwing before moving to the mound.

Hendricks – a Cy Young Award finalist and major-league ERA leader last season – has been staying on top of his shoulder exercises and overall conditioning. But he would still probably need to work up to at least one start in the minors, leaving the details on any rehab plan fuzzy.  

“It’s kind of on me,” Hendricks said. “That’s why we’re taking it slow here in the beginning, so hopefully nothing creeps back up, because it was kind of a weird injury in the first place. We didn’t know exactly what it was. It took us a little while to figure it out.

“Obviously, it could get sore again or something could happen. I just got to go day-to-day here these first few days, take it easy and make sure that doesn’t creep back up. Hopefully, we can just go from there.”

Even while missing a World Series Game 7 starter, the rotation has been trending in the right direction, posting a 2.51 ERA in the previous 11 games to reverse a 5.28 ERA in the 11 games before that. But to pull away from .500 and make a second-half push, the Cubs will absolutely need Hendricks. 

“They’ve just really fallen into a groove,” Hendricks said. “They’re really taking the workload better. Just from the top, what (Jon) Lester’s been able to do, he’s carrying the rotation with the way he’s pitched. But right behind him, (Jake) Arrieta’s thrown the ball much better lately. Even ‘Lack’ (John Lackey) his last few starts, so they’ve been carrying the load.

“I feel that on me a little bit. I want to come back, obviously, and be part of it and help them out with that.”

National media reacts to Jimmy Butler blockbuster deal

National media reacts to Jimmy Butler blockbuster deal

If you watched the first round of the NBA Draft, you probably noticed ESPN's Jalen Rose shouting, "Fleeced!" at every mention of the Jimmy Butler deal. 

The Bulls sent the three-time All-Star and No. 16 overall selection (Justin Patton) to Tom Thibodeau's Minnesota Timberwolves for the No. 7 pick (Lauri Markkanen), Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn. 

While Rose clearly thinks GarPax got swindled, other media members were much more split. 

Bill Simmons, notable Boston homer and Rose's close buddy, took the time to apologize to Bulls fans. 

On the other hand, ESPN's Bomani Jones believes it's a win-win. 

Skip Bayless - yes, we regrettably included Skip Bayless - put away his eye-burning hot takes for five seconds to fairly assess how Thibs' T-Wolves will benefit from acquiring a two-way veteran. 

Like other journalists, Zach Lowe questioned why Chicago included their first-round pick and how it factors into re-signing Nikola Mirotic. 

Avid Bulls fan and The Basketball Analogy podcast guest Black Tray left the analysis behind, opting to go straight for the heart. 

 

We'll leave that right there.