LEADING OFF: Stanton returns to Yanks, Machado appeals ban
A look at what's happening around the majors today:
Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton is set to come off the injured list for a game against the Rays. Stanton has been sidelined since March 31 with biceps, shoulder and calf injuries, but seemed ready for a return during a minor league rehab start with four homers in five games. Stanton re-joins a stacked lineup that just added DH Edwin Encarnación via trade, and star Aaron Judge is expected to return from a left oblique strain in the next few days, as well.
Padres star Manny Machado has denied making contact with plate umpire Bill Welke after being ejected for arguing a called third strike Saturday night and said he will appeal his one-game suspension and fine. MLB said the punishment, imposed by Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre, was for "aggressively arguing and making contact" with Welke. Asked if he made contact, Machado said: "Not that I believe." The 26-year-old Machado is batting .261 with 13 home runs and 39 RBIs for the Padres after signing a $300 million, 10-year contract in spring training.
A special ballpark tour is happening along the West Coast, where Zach Sprader's family is trying to visit all 30 big league ballparks in his memory. Zach died of leukemia in 2015 at 14 years old, about a year after befriending veteran catcher Nick Hundley at the Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. Hundley has remained close with the family since his death. He's helping them along their big league tour and got tickets for their visit to the Oakland Coliseum on Monday, where they saw the Orioles face the A's to check off park No. 13. Next stop: Petco Park in San Diego, and then Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.
The Padres are set to debut yet another top pitching prospect, this time sending Logan Allen out against Milwaukee for his first big league start. The 22-year-old was acquired in a deal that sent Craig Kimbrel to Boston in 2015, and he's since emerged as one of baseball's best left-handed pitching prospects. San Diego has already gotten strong contributions from youngsters Chris Paddack, Eric Lauer, Joey Lucchesi and Nick Margevicius this year — a group of starters all 26 or younger.