LEADING OFF: All-Star starters announced, Kimbrel joins Cubs

Sports

FILE – In this June 7, 2019, file photo, Chicago Cubs President Theo Epstein, left, introduces pitcher Craig Kimbrel during a news conference at Wrigley Field in Chicago. New Cubs closer Craig Kimbrel is at Triple-A Iowa, preparing to join the Cubs as they shoot for the N.L. Central crown.(Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune via AP, File)

A look at what’s happening around the majors today:

STAR-GAZING

Starters for the All-Star Game on July 9 in Cleveland will be announced at 7 p.m. EDT, a few hours after polls close online. There could be some surprises, too. In a new election process this year, candidates were narrowed down in fan balloting to three finalists per position. Then those vote totals were wiped out and fans had 28 hours beginning Wednesday at noon EDT to choose from among the finalists. Pitchers and reserves selected by the players and commissioner’s office will be revealed Sunday.

BULLPEN BOOST

Craig Kimbrel joins the Cubs for their series finale against Atlanta at Wrigley Field. The seven-time All-Star closer completed his minor league assignment Tuesday and traveled to Chicago on Wednesday. He pitched in four games for Triple-A Iowa, allowing one run and two hits in 3 2/3 innings. The right-hander worked a clean ninth with two strikeouts Tuesday in Iowa’s 5-1 win over Omaha, throwing 16 pitches.

Kimbrel and the Cubs finalized a $43 million, three-year contract on June 7. The 31-year-old reliever has 333 career saves, including 42 last season for World Series champion Boston.

OUT AGAIN

Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton is back on the 10-day injured list with a strained right knee, barely a week after returning from a series of setbacks that kept him out of action for almost three months. New York manager Aaron Boone said it’s likely Stanton will be sidelined for longer than 10 days. “It’ll be more than that,” Boone said. “That’s when the reevaluation kind of happens.”

Stanton has played only nine games this season, having missed significant time with a torn biceps and strains in his shoulder and calf. He is hitting .290 with one home run and seven RBIs.

Outfielder Mike Tauchman was called up from Triple-A to replace Stanton on the 25-man roster and traveled with the Yankees to London for their two-game series against the rival Red Sox that begins Saturday.

ROCKY MOUNTAIN REMATCH

The major league-leading Dodgers (55-27) open a four-game series in Colorado with Walker Buehler (8-1, 2.96 ERA) on the mound. Rockies right-hander Peter Lambert (2-0, 5.85) faces Los Angeles for the second consecutive start. The Dodgers won three straight home games against Colorado last weekend in walk-off fashion.

MINNESOTA M-A-S-H UNIT

After outfielder Eddie Rosario exited Wednesday night’s game with a sprained left ankle, the Twins were pretty confident they dodged a bullet. Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli said Rosario likely would not need to be placed on the injured list. He was on crutches as a precaution, but an MRI revealed no serious damage. “It seems like we probably lucked out,” Baldelli said. “It might be a little early to say that, but I’ll say it anyway.” Rosario leads the team and ranks sixth in the American League with 20 home runs. Minnesota already was missing center fielder Byron Buxton (wrist) and right fielder Max Kepler (elbow) against Tampa Bay.

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