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Report: Phillies trade Cole Hamels to AL West team


Report: Phillies trade Cole Hamels to AL West team

The firesale in Philly continued on Wednesday night, as according to several reports the Phillies agreed to send ace Cole Hamels to the Texas Rangers in a blockbuster deal involving multiple prospects.

Hamels, 31, follows Jonathan Papelbon out the door as the latest Phillies player to be traded. Hamels, a former World Series MVP, has a 3.64 ERA in 20 starts this season. He threw a no-hitter against the Chicago Cubs his last time out.

Hamels is a three-time All-Star who has finished in the top eight in NL Cy Young voting four times in his career. Last season he finished sixth after posting a 2.46 ERA in 30 starts.

The Rangers are reportedly giving up a group of six players including catcher Jorge Alfaro, outfielder Nick Williams and pitcher Jared Eickhoff. Those names, all minor league prospects, are according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports. 

Alfaro, 22, was rated as the 45th-best prospect in baseball prior to this season by Williams, 21, is also a top-100 prospect on most lists and has 13 homers, 45 RBI and 10 steals at Double-A this season. Eickhoff, 25, holds a 4.47 ERA at Triple-A this season.

The other three players heading to Texas are veteran lefty Matt Harrison and two right-handed pitchers: former fourth round pick Alec Asher and former second round pick Jake Thompson. Those names were reported by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning-News. The Phillies will also get reliever Jake Diekman in the deal.

Hamels leaving Philly will certainly be a tough pill to swallow for fans of the team, as he was a star on their 2008 World Series team. But the Phillies have to think about the future, as they are headed for another last-place finish. Time will tell if they got enough in a return for the 10-year veteran.

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2018 MLB All-Star Game: How to watch, starting lineups, full rosters

2018 MLB All-Star Game: How to watch, starting lineups, full rosters

The 2018 MLB All-Star Game is finally here.

The Midsummer Classic returns to the nation's capital today for the first time in almost 50 years. This is also the first time the Washington Nationals have hosted the All-Star Game, and the first time in over 30 years that the Nationals franchise has hosted it when they were the Montreal Expos. 

After Bryce Harper stole the show on Monday night with a thrilling victory in the Home Run Derby, it's time for Max Scherzer, Sean Doolittle and the rest of the N.L. roster to join Harper as they take on the best players from the American League.

The 2018 MLB All-Star Game gets going at 8:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday night and is broadcast on FOX.

Here's what to know about the 2018 MLB All-Star weekend.  

2018 MLB All-Star Game How to Watch 

Where: Nationals Park, Washington, D.C. 
When: 8:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday, July 17th
TV channel: FOX
Live Stream:
Announcers: Joe Buck (PbP), John Smoltz (Analyst), Ken Rosenthal (Reporter), Tom Verducci (Reporter)

2018 National League All-Star Roster

1. Javier Baez, 2B (Cubs)
2. Nolan Arenado, 3B (Rockies)
3. Paul Goldschmidt, DH (Diamondbacks)
4. Freddie Freeman, 1B (Braves)
5. Matt Kemp, LF (Dodgers)
6. Bryce Harper, CF (Nationals)
7. Nick Markakis, RF (Braves)
8. Brandon Crawford, SS (Giants)
9. Wilson Contreras, C (Cubs)
SP: Max Scherzer (Nationals)

Yadier Molina, C (Cardinals); J.T. Realmuto, C (Marlins); Joey Votto, 1B (Reds); Jesus Aguilar, 1B (Brewers); Ozzie Albies, 2B (Braves); Scooter Gennett, 2B (Reds); Eugenio Suarez, 3B (Reds); Trevor Story, SS (Rockies), Charlie Blackmon, OF (Rockies), Lorenzo Cain, OF (Brewers); Christian Yelich, OF (Brewers)

Patrick Corbin, LH (Diamondbacks); Jacob deGrom, RH (Mets); Mike Foltynewicz, RH (Braves); Zack Greinke, RH (Diamondbacks); Aaron Nola, RH (Phillies); Ross Stripling, RH (Dodgers)

Josh Hader, LH (Brewers); Brad Hand, LH (Padres); Kenley Jansen, RH (Dodgers); Jeremy Jeffress, RH (Brewers); Felipe Vazquez, LH (Pirates) 

LH Sean Doolittle, LH (Nationals), Jon Lester, LH (Cubs); RH Miles Mikolas, RH Cardinals (inactive); Buster Posey, C (Giants)

2018 American League All-Star Roster

1. Mookie Betts, RF (Red Sox)
2. Jose Altuve, 2B (Astros)
3. Mike Trout, CF (Angels)
4. J.D. Martinez, DH (Red Sox)
5. Jose Ramirez, 3B (Indians)
6. Aaron Judge, LF (Yankees)
7. Manny Machado, SS (Orioles)
9. Salvador Perez, C (Royals)
SP: Chris Sale (Red Sox)

Yan Gomes, C (Indians); Mitch Moreland, 1B (Red Sox); Jed Lowrie, 2B (Athletics); Alex Bregman, 3B (Astros), Francisco Lindor, SS (Indians); Jean Segura, SS (Mariners), Michael Brantley, OF (Indians); Shin-Soo Choo, OF (Rangers); Mitch Haniger, OF (Mariners); George Springer, OF (Astros); Nelson Cruz, OF (Mariners)

Trevor Bauer, RH (Indians);  Jose Berrios, RH (Twins); Gerrit Cole, RH (Astros); J.A. Happ, LH (Blue Jays); Charlie Morton, RH (Astros); Luis Severino, RH (Yankees); Blake Snell, LH (Rays)

Edwin Diaz, RH (Mariners); Joe Jimenez, RH (Tigers); Craig Kimbrel, RH (Red Sox); Blake Treinen, RH (Athletics)

Aroldis Chapman, LH (Yankees); Corey Kluber, RH (Indians); Wilson Ramos, C (Rays), Gleyber Torres, 2B (Yankees), Justin Verlander, RH (Astros)

All-Star Game History

— 89th annual MLB All-Star Game
— Series tied 43-43-2
— Last A.L. win: 2017 (2-1)
— Last N.L. win: 2012 (8-0)
— Longest ASG: 15 innings (1979 and 2008)
— First MVP: Maury Wills, SS Dodgers (1962)
— Most Recent MVP: Robinson Cano, 2B Mariners (2017)
— Most MVP awards by team: Orioles (6)


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Cal Ripken Jr. finds nothing wrong with Bryce Harper's swing

Cal Ripken Jr. finds nothing wrong with Bryce Harper's swing

Bryce Harper hasn't been the Bryce Harper we're used to seeing in 2018. 

The 2016 N.L. MVP has seen his batting average drop to a career-low .214 and ranks among NL leaders with 100 strikeouts. On Saturday after their game vs. the Mets, manager Dave Martinez had a talk with the right fielder after he failed to run out a ground ball in the fifth. 

There have been several theories thrown out there as to why the 25-year old is slumping. From simply being mentally checked out to his "unconventional" swing at the plate. But before you take that theory and run with it, baseball legend Cal Ripken Jr. sees nothing wrong with his technique. 

"We're they saying that about it when it was working?", Ripken said Monday on 106.7 The Fan's Sports Junkies, simulcasted on NBC Sports Washington. 

"'Cause its essentially the same swing. And if you look at videotape, there's some subtle difference that you see. He has a signature way he swings the bat. Sometimes your engine's running a little high inside." 

Those who are more in-tune with the fundamentals will find his swing a bit out of the norm, but Ripken would not describe it as "unconventional."

"No, I don't think it's unconventional and I think he's been consistent. It's just the way he hits. Everybody has this unique sort of signature on how they swing the bat and if you're trying to help him, you don't go change everything and say you gotta go. You just try to bring him back to his comfort and his timing and his confidence and then that'll happen. It's proved that his style of hitting works for him and so I wouldn't try to make him somebody else."

Well, that way of hitting obviously works considering he does have 23 home runs this season and just won the 2018 Home Run Derby Monday night after launching ten 450-foot home runs and nine home runs in 47 seconds.  So what will it take for him to carry that momentum into the second half of the season? Ripken senses the need for a clearer mental game during a stressful contract year. 

"It's a slump, so what are the reasons, what are the causes for that? And probably it's a little more mental than physical."