Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos/Getty Images

Cool Hand Lucas: Giolito has arm, poise for prime-time debut

Who cares if he's bypassing Triple-A completely? Certainly not Lucas Giolito, the Nationals' fearless No. 1 pitching prospect, who makes his MLB debut tonight in a big spot against Matt Harvey and the Mets.

Are the Mets mishandling their pitching staff? (1:25)
AP Photo, Getty Images
35mKeith Law

MLB Futures Game: Top prospects, who's missing

Keith Law highlights key names on the just-released 2016 MLB Futures Game rosters -- and key names NOT on a roster -- and has other relevant tidbits.

Mark Blinch/The Canadian Press via AP

The beginning of the end for Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez is determined to prove people wrong, but with the Yankees benching him for a second consecutive game, he will need to find some magic beans to discover his past success.

Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post/Getty Images
8hTristan H. Cockcroft

Will Lucas Giolito live up to the fantasy hype?

Tristan H. Cockcroft looks closer at the fantasy value of Nationals starter Lucas Giolito, who is making his debut Tuesday against the Mets.

AP Photo/John Minchillo

Kris Bryant drives Cubs with historic performance

Kris Bryant is the first in major league history to hit three home runs and two doubles in one game, which almost made us forget about the issues with Jake Arrieta and the bullpen.

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Getty Images, USA TODAY Sports
2hJim Bowden

Rookie Report: Top 10 rookies this season

Corey Seager and Nomar Mazara have been two of baseball's top rookies. Where do they rank halfway through the 2016 season?

Phillies pitcher takes on mascot in rock, paper, scissors (0:15)
Elias Stein

Vote: Cubs Confidence Meter

Despite a rough patch, it's been a special season for the Cubs. But will it be 1908 special? Let us know what you think in our weekly poll.

  • VICE Sports illustration by Elliot Gerard

    MLB's delicate balance with big data

    Technologies that track player performance are the next frontier in baseball's analytic revolution. But the ever-growing quantification of things never tracked is now forcing MLB to balance big data with "big brother," Rian Watt writes.


Katie Strang ESPN.com 

Barry Bonds also extolled former Tigers manager Jim Leyland, who Bonds had as a rookie in Pittsburgh. His main takeaway from their relationship? "His friendship. We've been friends forever. He was the best manager for me when I first came up. I had [other] great ones, don't get me wrong... To have [Leyland] as your first manager, it doesn't even compare."

David Schoenfield ESPN Senior Writer 

So Clayton Kershaw is flying back to L.A. to have his back examined. Dave Roberts says the club is hopeful Kershaw will still make his next start. Dodgers fans are not panicking. They are calm and mindful of the fact that they have played so well in non-Kershaw games. Oh, wait ... no? They are panicking?

Doug Padilla ESPN Staff Writer 

Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw is flying back to L.A. to get his sore lower back checked. Manager Dave Roberts says the team remains hopeful that Kershaw can still make his start Friday.

Katie Strang ESPN.com 

Barry Bonds very complimentary of Tigers' Miguel Cabrera. Praised his baseball IQ and said he knew he was going to be something special, even from an early age: "He's f------ great."

Andrew Marchand ESPN Senior Writer 

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he never considered pinch-hitting Alex Rodriguez in Aaron Hicks' place in the ninth, despite the fact that the tying run was at the plate early Tuesday morning. With a righty on the mound, the amount of hours Rodriguez sat and the short porch in right, Girardi said turning to A-Rod was not a thought. When asked when he could pinch-hit A-Rod in AL parks, Girardi didn't have much of answer instead basically saying wait-and-see. A-Rod is in tonight's lineup, starting against lefty Cole Hamels. A-Rod is 1-for-6 with a homer.

Should the O's retaliate against Royals?

And Michael Smith has another question: "Why are pitchers the policemen for the unwritten rules of baseball anyway?"


Scott Lauber ESPN Staff Writer 

Pitch-tipping has been a problem in the past for demoted Red Sox lefty Eduardo Rodriguez. It still is, according to pitching coach Carl Willis. "It really goes back to consistency in delivery. With the inconsistencies, I know it's no secret, hitters know what's coming."

Andrew Marchand ESPN Senior Writer 

After not finishing until 2:44 on Tuesday morning, the Yankees and Rangers may face some more rain today. AccuWeather says there could be thunderstorms during tonight's game. Bring your umbrellas and -- judging from last night -- maybe a sleeping bag.

Eddie Matz ESPN Senior Writer 

Dusty Baker on what Hank Aaron's advice was to him when he made his debut at 19: "Be nervous, but don't be scared."

Eddie Matz ESPN Senior Writer 

Forget about pitch count. When it comes Nats hurler Lucas Giolito's debut tonight, Dusty Baker's more focused on a "performance count."


Adam Rubin ESPN Staff Writer 

Padres manager Andy Green, whose team is hosting the All-Star Game, will serve as a coach on Terry Collins' All-Star staff. Otherwise, Collins is taking his coaches -- no other NL managers.

Adam Rubin ESPN Staff Writer 

Sandy Alderson estimated Lucas Duda is still two weeks from baseball activity outdoors. Duda is on the disabled list with a stress fracture in his lower back.

Jesse Rogers ESPN Staff Writer 

Cubs reliever Justin Grimm said the bullpen wasn't going crazy as Kris Bryant's 5th hit and third home run sailed over their heads on Monday night against the Reds. He recalls: "We just looked at each other like 'you gotta be kidding me.'"

Adam Rubin ESPN Staff Writer 

Sandy Alderson predicted Yulieski Gourriel will take about a month to be ready to compete in the majors.

Adam Rubin ESPN Staff Writer 

Jose Reyes will work strictly at third base in the minors before being promoted. The outfield and other exposure will only come once he joins the Mets.

Andrew Marchand ESPN Senior Writer 

As expected, Alex Rodriguez is at DH and batting third with lefty Cole Hamels tonight. The Yankees have also moved Carlos Beltran into the two hole.

Adam Rubin ESPN Staff Writer 

Sandy Alderson said the Mets are "evaluating where we are" with respect to making an offer on Yulieski Gourriel. He took BP from coaches, took grounders at third and second base on Monday in Port St. Lucie. The agent would like a deal in the next week or two weeks but has multiple other showcases before committing. Having Jose Reyes doesn't really affect interest in Gourriel.

Adam Rubin ESPN Staff Writer 

Logan Verrett will start on Wednesday against the Nationals opposite Max Scherzer in a spot start. Steven Matz starts Thursday, bumped back a day.

Adam Rubin ESPN Staff Writer 

The Mets will not need to regularly skip Steven Matz or otherwise give him extra rest. The Mets may go to a six-man rotation at some point. Surgery would sideline Matz for three months.