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Drake's cool journey finally gets him to majors


Drake's cool journey finally gets him to majors

MIAMI – It’s been a long journey for Oliver Drake. Seven years after he left the Naval Academy, Drake is in the major leagues. Recalled on Saturday, Drake is an extra arm in the Orioles bullpen.

“It’s awesome. It’s really exciting. I got the call last night. It’s kind of flown by, but it’s setting in right now, and it’s a cool experience,” the 28-year-old Drake said.

Drake has pitched at every level, and had pitched at Bowie from 2011-2014. He was limited to three games in 2012 because of shoulder surgery.

Manager Buck Showalter knows it’s a cool story.

“It would be cooler if he pitched well for us and never went down. That would be the cool part for me,” Showalter said.

Drake left the academy after two years, and is the second player from Navy to reach the majors this year. Mitch Harris became the first Navy graduate to play in the majors since 1921, and the St. Louis Cardinals reliever is the first to win a game.

The two share an agent, and Harris texted his congratulations on Saturday morning.

“He said he’ll be watching. I’ve loved watching him doing what he’s been doing right now. He’s been having some success. It’s pretty cool seeing two Navy guys right now in the major leagues,” Drake said.

[RELATED: Wright tries for strong second start against Marlins]

Drake was 0-1 with an 0.96 ERA at Norfolk with 30 strikeouts to just four walks. He didn’t want to assume he’d finally get summoned.

“I wasn’t really sure. Lately, they’re kind of having guys shuttling back and forth, so everyone was kind of just preparing. You never know when you might get the call, so that’s all I’ve been doing was trying to make sure if they recall me, I’m ready,” Drake said.
Drake will wear number 71. It doesn’t have special meaning.

“Nothing at all besides that’s the number I’m wearing in my first day in the big leagues. It’s going to mean a lot from now on,” Drake said.

Tyler Wilson was sent down when Drake was recalled. He won Friday’s game in relief.

“Tyler needs to start…He’s a starting pitcher prospect for us and who knows where he might fit out of the pen? He’s getting back on the horse. He’s going to be down at least two to four days. He wasn’t going to pitch for a while. He’ll go right in the rotation down there,” Showalter said.

It’s possible Wilson could be recalled to pitch in one of the games of Thursday’s doubleheader against Chicago.

“Not necessarily. We have options. We have options,” Showalter said.

“I can pull somebody from the pen. That dynamic is going to kind of change each day, I think. I think it’s more you’ve kind of got an idea of who it won’t be. Right now, it’s the only thing I know for sure.”

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American League All-Star Game Roster Projection: AL will be loaded once again

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American League All-Star Game Roster Projection: AL will be loaded once again

The 2018 Major League All-Star Game is less than a month away. Fan votes are well underway and early frontrunners are close to locking their position in the Midsummer Classic.

Yesterday, we projected how the National League roster will play out. Today it is time to look at the American League roster projection.

For five straight seasons, the AL has had the upper hand in the MLB All-Star Game. In 2018, it does not appear that will change as the American League roster will be loaded from top to bottom.

As a reminder, here is how the process shakes out, first with the fan vote, players’ ballots, and the MLB Commissioner’s Office:

  • Fan vote: nine position players in AL (DH)/ eight in NL; plus final vote for each league
  • Player’s ballots: next 17 players in AL/ 16 players in NL; (five starting pitchers, three relievers must be chosen)
  • MLB Commissioner’s Office: five AL players (four pitchers, one position player) and seven NL players (four pitchers, three position players)

One player from each team must make the initial roster (before injury withdraws, etc.). Below is how it looks the American League roster will play out, considering the latest fan vote returns:

American League All-Star Roster Projection:

C – Wilson Ramos, Rays (Fan Vote), Gary Sánchez, Yankees (Player Ballot)
1B – José Abreu, White Sox (Fan Vote), Joey Gallo, Rangers (Player Ballot)
2B – Jose Altuve, Astros (Fan Vote), Jed Lowrie, Athletics (Player Ballot)
3B – José Ramírez, Indians (Fan Vote), Yangervis Solarte, Blue Jays (Player Ballot), Mike Moustakas, Royals (Commissioner’s Office)
SS – Manny Machado, Orioles (Fan Vote), Jean Segura, Mariners (Player Ballot),
OF – Mookie Betts, Red Sox (Fan Vote), Mike Trout, Angels (Fan Vote), Aaron Judge, Yankees (Fan Vote), Michael Brantley, Indians (Player Ballot), Eddie Rosario, Twins (Player Ballot), Giancarlo Stanton, Yankees (Player Ballot),
DH – J.D. Martinez, Red Sox (Fan Vote), Shohei Ohtani, Angels (Player Ballot)

SP – Justin Verlander, Astros (Player Ballot), Luis Severino, Yankees (Player Ballot), Corey Kluber, Indians (Player Ballot), Chris Sale, Red Sox (Player Ballot), Gerrit Cole, Astros (Player Ballot), Blake Snell, Tampa Bay (Commissioner’s Office)

RP – Edwin Díaz, Mariners (Player Ballot), Craig Kimbrel, Red Sox (Player Ballot), Aroldis Chapman, Yankees (Player Ballot), Joe Jiménez, Tigers (Commissioner’s Office), Delin Betances, Yankees (Commissioner’s Office), Chris Devenski, Astros (Commissioner’s Office)

Manager: Jeff Luhnow, Astros

Based on this projection, the New York Yankees will have the most representatives with six. The Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox will both have four.

Ensuring no snubs, there will be five players selected for the final fan vote to get one more All-Star into the game for a total of 32 for the American League. As you can see, no matter how the AL roster plays out, it will be a dominant team once again as they look for six straight All-Star wins.

Four of those five wins were inside a National League stadium and that will not change as the Washington Nationals will host this season.


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2018 MLB All-Star Game voting update: Manny Machado maintains big lead among A.L. shortstops

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2018 MLB All-Star Game voting update: Manny Machado maintains big lead among A.L. shortstops

Baltimore Orioles’ Manny Machado took an even larger lead in the latest update for 2018 MLB All-Star Game voting.

The superstar shortstop maintained his position at the top of American League shortstops in the second round of All-Star voting updates, released Tuesday morning. 

After the first ballot was released, Machado led the shortstops category by over 100,00 votes.

This week, he now holds north of a 200,000-vote lead over last year’s American League starter, Carlos Correa.

The Astros’ Correa jumped from fourth to second this past week while the Indians’ Francisco Lindor dropped to third.  

Machado now has 671,133 votes, seventh among all American League players. For the second straight week, Machado remained the only Orioles player on the list.

Through 69 games in 2018, Machado is batting .310 with 18 home runs, 15 doubles and 53 RBIs. He is posting his best OPS (.945) and on-base percentage (.377) in his career, a bright spot for the O’s, who sit dead last in MLB with a 20-50 record.

The All-Star voting will be open until July 5 at 11:59 p.m. ET and fans can vote five times every 24 hours.

The next AL voting update will be announced June 26.