LEADING OFF: Bumgarner back from crash, All-Stars aplenty
A look at what's happening all around the majors today:
BUM IS BACK
Giants ace Madison Bumgarner returns to the mound for the first time since a dirt bike accident led to a sprained AC joint in his pitching shoulder and bruised ribs. The left-hander made four starts, going 0-3 with a 3.00 ERA, before crashing his bike during a day off in Colorado. He'll face the Padres and right-hander Jhoulys Chacin (8-7, 4.32) in San Diego.
On the second day back from the All-Star break, eight starting pitchers selected for the Midsummer Classic get their initial assignments of the second half. Among them are American League starter Chris Sale, who pitches for Boston against fellow All-Star Luis Severino and the Yankees, and National League counterpart Max Scherzer, who starts for Washington vs. Cincinnati. Other All-Stars on the mound are Michael Fulmer (Tigers), Ervin Santana (Twins), Jason Vargas (Royals), Corey Kluber (Indians) and Alex Wood (Dodgers).
TIME TO SHOP?
The Yankees are approaching the non-waiver trade deadline with holes opening faster than they can fill them. Starter Michael Pineda is mulling over what would be season-ending surgery for a partial ligament tear in his pitching elbow, and first baseman Greg Bird may require surgery for a right ankle issue. One of the top starting pitchers on the trade market, Jose Quintana, has already been moved from the White Sox to the Cubs, but hurlers like Sonny Gray or Gerrit Cole may still be available. New York did pick up minor league slugger Garrett Cooper from the Brewers on Thursday and started him at first base Friday for his big league debut, but they may still pursue a more proven option at first.
LOOKING FOR WORK
Anyone need a third baseman? Kung Fu Panda is available. Boston designated Pablo Sandoval for assignment on Friday, cutting its losses on the $95 million free agent who was never productive or healthy enough to replicate the popularity - or World Series success - he had in San Francisco. The Red Sox have seven days to trade or release the 30-year-old Sandoval, just activated from the disabled list after recovering from an inner ear infection. A two-time All-Star, Sandoval was the MVP of the 2012 World Series with the Giants. But left shoulder surgery sidelined him for almost the entire 2016 season, and he managed only 14 homers in 161 games over 2 1/2 seasons with Boston.
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