MLB News & Moments You Should Know – July 12

Derby news, unorthodox homers, and Max-Off in Atlanta.

Stay updated on everything baseball with our morning MLB News & Moments articles. We’ve got you covered to keep you in the know.


Today’s Headlines


Derby Darlings Range in Age

The 2022 MLB Home Run Derby Contestants began to leak out on Monday, with three names confirmed as of this writing: Pete Alonso, Ronald Acuña Jr., and Albert Pujols. Alonso will be defending his back-to-back derby titles, hoping to become the first slugger to win three straight:


Acuña Jr. last competed in the event in 2019, when he lost to Alonso in the semifinals. Pujols has participated four times in his illustrious career, most recently in 2015—but he has yet to capture the title. Unfinished business, perhaps?


At 42, Pujols will become easily the oldest player to ever hit in the event. But the derby won’t be without its young stars; in addition to Acuña Jr., MLB insider Héctor Gómez reports that Juan Soto is headed to Los Angeles for the derby for the second straight year. And how about Julio Rodríguez? It’s possible.


Stan-ding Alone in Third Place

Speaking of ol’ Albert, the veteran Cardinals slugger made headlines for another wonderful reason on Monday: He passed Stan Musial with the 1,378th extra-base hit of his career.

Pujols is likely stuck in third, unless he can muster 62 more doubles, homers and triples the rest of the way this year and catch Barry Bonds. Still, that’s what you’d call respectable.


Scherzer wins Max-Up, Mets top Braves in Series Opener

With a short, 10-game slate of games on Monday, the event of the night took place in Atlanta. The Mets and Braves tipped off a three-game series with just 1.5 games separating them atop the N.L. East standings, the smallest gap there’s been in months. The opening act featured a duel of two aces with one name: Max Scherzer vs. Max Fried. It did not disappoint.

Scherzer delivered seven innings of three-hit, one-run ball; he was seemingly pleased with the effort.


The Mets pitching (Scherzer, Adam Ottavino and Edwin Díaz) guided them to a 4-1 victory, stretching their lead back to 2.5 games. But the one hitter they couldn’t seem to get out was a familiar face: Robinson Canó, making his Atlanta debut. This’ll take some getting used to…


Canó finished 2-3 with a pair of singles in his first game against his former team, which is still paying him the lion’s share of $24 million this year. Stay tuned for his inevitable walk-off home run at some point this week.


Best Moments From Yesterday


First Homer, the Hard Way

Rangers rookie Josh Smith had himself a memorable day at work yesterday. When he got home, he had a new souvenir for the mantle: career MLB tater No. 1. But the story of how he got will be the best part. You have to see this for yourself:


I don’t know much about this man, but I know he’s got the hair to last in this league. And that he’s part of a pretty cool club…


Vinnie’s Re-Peat Performance

Speaking of rookies hitting homers, you may have seen Royals prospect Vinnie Pasquantino knock his first career bomb against the Tigers last week. Well, wanna see it again?


Wait, hold on. We’re getting word this is, in fact, a new video. Anybody else getting déjà vu?


According to Sarah Langs, Vinnie P. is the first player to accomplish this since Bronson Arroyo in 2006. Yes, that Bronson Arroyo. Look, it’s a weird sport, okay?



Speaking of weird—boy, I feel like we’re really nailing the transitions today—there’s another video you need to watch as soon as possible. To prep you: It features Hunter Greene hurling a muffin at speeds upward of 102 miles per hour, according to my eyes. Okay, now hit “play.”


I wish I could provide more context for this, but it simply doesn’t exist. Carry on.


Phillips Head First

Brett Phillips is a regular on this page, usually because of anything and everything he does and says off the field. So when the occasion arises that he actually does something well on the baseball diamond, we’re obligated to post that, too. And this time, we’ve got an early contender for catch of the week:


There you have it. Living proof that good things come from a positive attitude! And top-of-the line outfield positioning analytics, of course. But I’d call that one mostly moxie.




  • Wander Franco is undergoing surgery today to repair a fracture in his right hand. He is expected to miss 5-8 weeks, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
  • Kenley Jansen is eligible to return from the 15-day IL today, and he should be activated some time this week. He threw a bullpen session Monday, per David O’Brien of the Athletic.



Articles You Should Read


What’s Behind Orioles’ Magic? Pitchers, Power-Hitters and Pixie Dust – Jake Mintz, Fox Sports MLB

How the ‘Tungsten Arm’ O’Doyle tweet became an embodiment of the Angels’ losing – Sam Blum, The Athletic

Inspirational teen feted by Yanks to begin HOPE weekDavid Adler, MLB.com


Fantasy Baseball Coverage


Starting Pitcher Roundup

Hitter Performances

Reliever Ranks

Starting Pitcher Streamers


Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

Wynn McDonald

Born a Kentuckian, much like Dan Uggla. Braves fan by choice, unlike Dan Uggla. I enjoy long walks on the Brandon Beachy. @twynstagram

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