Steve Mitchell/USA TODAY Sports

The evolution of Jake Arrieta -- and his beard

Jake Arrieta's transformation into one of baseball's top pitchers is remarkable in itself. But the Texan's shift from being clean-shaven to having an incredibly thick beard is unprecedented.

Girardi to use A-Rod differently (0:29)
Leary on Red Sox fandom: I care, but don't really (0:50)
Astros looking to stay hot on Monday Night Baseball (1:49)
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Corey Seager posting All-Star numbers as a rookie

During his first full season in the majors, Corey Seager is showing why is showing why he was baseball's top prospect. Will the Dodgers shortstop be rewarded with a trip to the Midsummer Classic?

Max Faulkner/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS/Getty Images
1hTony Blengino

Jurickson Profar 2.0: Has he finally emerged?

Former scout/front-office exec Tony Blengino shares his scouting observations of hot-hitting Jurickson Profar from many years ago and how they apply now, then puts it all in perspective.

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.

Pitching the key to Indians' nine-game winning streak (1:08)
Rob Tringali/SportsChrome/Getty Images

Stephen Strasburg injury is Nationals' nightmare

With Stephen Strasburg hurt again, you couldn't blame GM Mike Rizzo and the Washington Nationals if they're feeling a bit anxious about their $175 million investment.

Crasnick: Cubs could use one more reliever (0:59)
AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

Kershaw falls short of high expectations

Clayton Kershaw wasn't his usual dominant self, and the Dodgers didn't provide much support, allowing Pirates starter Chad Kuhl to shine in his MLB debut.

Fernandez's slider gets the job done against the Cubs (0:48)
Home is where the throw is (1:30)
Icon Sportswire, Getty Images

Early list of potential All-Star snubs

Picking the All-Star teams is always hard. Here is Buster Olney's list of players who should be considered but may be left behind because of a ballot crunch.

Reds honor Rose by retiring No. 14 (0:24)
Max Faulkner/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS/Getty Images
Tony Blengino

Jurickson Profar 2.0: Has he finally emerged?

Former scout/front-office exec Tony Blengino shares his scouting observations of hot-hitting Jurickson Profar from many years ago and how they apply now, then puts it all in perspective.

  • 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.


Eddie Matz ESPN Senior Writer 

Nationals leadoff hitters rank dead-last in the majors in average (.205) and on-base percentage (.251). In related news, speedy shortstop Trea Turner - who's hitting .304 with 22 steals at Triple-A Syracuse and is the team's number two prospect - is making his first start in centerfield tonight. "It makes him more versatile," said GM Mike Rizzo, "and gives the manager more options to put a really good offensive player in there that can run and help you in a lot of different aspects of the game."

Marly Rivera ESPN Writer 

Yankees-Rangers set to start at 7:25 after what is expected to be a brief weather delay.

Mark Saxon ESPN Staff Writer 

St. Louis Cardinals reliever Trevor Rosenthal addressed his demotion as the team's closer for the first time on Monday, saying he thinks he is close to regaining the form that made him one of the game's most dominant relievers last season. Rosenthal was replaced as closer on Saturday, the day after he blew a save by allowing a ninth-inning Adam Lind home run in Seattle. Command issues have been Rosenthal's demise. He has a 14.14 ERA and opponents are hitting .406 off him this month. He has walked the same number of batters, eight, as he has struck out while blowing two of his eight save chances. "It's not fun for sure," Rosenthal said. "I don't want to lose, I don't want to do bad, I don't want to let down the guys, especially a game like that in Seattle where we're kind of rolling, where [Carlos] Martinez is pitching a great game, but I'm not the first person this has happened to. I'm not going to be the last person and all these guys know I work my butt off and I try every day. It's all I can control. It's unfortunate and not something I want, but at the same time, I'm confident in myself to be able to work hard and hopefully continue to give us a chance to win."

Scott Lauber ESPN Staff Writer 

With three days left to vote, Red Sox's Mookie Betts holds almost a 94,000-vote lead over KC's Lorenzo Cain for final spot in AL outfield. SS Xander Bogaerts and DH David Ortiz have big leads at their positions, while Jackie Bradley Jr. is running second among outfielders. "You can't say you never dreamed about it," Betts said. "It's definitely something I'd love to be a part of."

Mark Saxon ESPN Staff Writer 

Brayan Pena's minor-league rehabilitation assignment is over. Pena met the Cardinals in Kansas City and figures to come off the 15-day disabled list Tuesday in Kansas City. Pena has yet to make his Cardinals' debut since signing a two-year, $5 million contract to be Yadier Molina's backup. He underwent left knee surgery shortly after Opening Day. The team is hopeful that Pena's arrival will allow them to give Molina more rest. With minor-league journeyman Eric Fryer as the backup, Molina has started 67 of the team's 75 games at catcher. "Sometimes, we take our health for granted," Pena said. "I'm just excited to get back in there. You feel envy when you see these guys playing when you're not healthy."

Adam Rubin ESPN Staff Writer 

Zack Wheeler played catch at 90 feet on Monday in Port St. Lucie for the first time since receiving a cortisone injection last week. He reported no difficulty, assistant GM John Ricco said.

Adam Rubin ESPN Staff Writer 

The Mets worked out Yulieski Gourriel on Monday for 90 minutes in Port St. Lucie. Sandy Alderson was on hand.

Adam Rubin ESPN Staff Writer 

Juan Lagares will begin a rehab assignment with Double-A Binghamton on Tuesday. Jose Reyes also will be with the club.

Adam Rubin ESPN Staff Writer 

Steven Matz has a bone spur in the pitching elbow. He can pitch through is health-wise, but the question is can he pitch effectively.

Scott Lauber ESPN Staff Writer 

Brock Holt is still experiencing mild concussion symptoms, but is playing through it at the recommendation of specialist Dr. Micky Collins, according to Red Sox manager John Farrell. For now, the plan calls for Holt to continue his minor-league rehab assignment this week, then rejoin the Sox on Friday for the start of the Angels series.