In a bit of good news for Orioles’ fans, Trey Mancini will participate in this year’s Home Run Derby, per The Athletic’s Dan Connolly (via Twitter). Mancini should provide some feel-good coverage for the 2021 All-Star festivities. Having missed last season while being treated for stage 3 colon cancer, Mancini has returned to lead the Orioles with a .260/.337/.466 triple-slash line with 14 home runs and 52 runs batted in, good for a 121 wRC+. Let’s check in with the other clubs in the AL East…
- Alejandro Kirk has joined the Blue Jays’ Triple-A club in Trenton with the possibility of returning from the injured list as early as July 1, per Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca (via Twitter). Kirk must first prove himself ready in Triple-A. After making the team out of spring training, Kirk has been out since May 2nd with a flexor strain. The Jays have also been without starter Danny Jansen for almost three weeks now. Riley Adams, who has three options remaining, will head back to Trenton whenever Kirk is ready.
- Nick Anderson threw his second bullpen session for the Rays, and he appears on track for an August return. per Adam Berry of MLB.com (via Twitter). Anderson’s value as a bullpen ace is well-known after last year’s breakout campaign — 0.55 ERA in 16 1/3 regular-season innings. The Rays leaned hard on Anderson to get them to the World Series: he appeared in both games of the Wild Card sweep of the Blue Jays, two of the five games in their ALDS win over the Yankees, and three more apiece in the ALCS and World Series.
- Brendan McKay is in line for a 30-pitch bullpen soon, Berry also notes, and if that goes well, he’ll start to build his strength up to a starter’s workload. McKay last appeared in competitive action in 2019, when he threw 49 innings at the big-league level with a 5.14 ERA/4.03 FIP.
- The Yankees don’t expect to get Corey Kluber back until August at the earliest, but it could be as late as September, per MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch (via Twitter). Kluber gave the Yankees exactly what they’d hoped in his ten starts: 3.04 ERA/3.77 FIP in 53 1/3 innings. Unfortunately, he also realized their fears when he suffered a shoulder strain that will ultimately knock him out for more than half the year.