We’re only a week away from the 2015 Home Run Derby and All-Star game at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati, Ohio where the top players in the league will come together for bragging rights and home-field advantage in the World Series.
As we all know, first baseman Anthony Rizzo and rookie third baseman Kris Bryant were selected as reserves – Bryant bring selected since Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton is unable to participate due to a fractured wrist. He’s not expected to return until mid-August or early September pending any setbacks.
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Now, the North Side of Chicago has been buzzing ever since the news broke about both men receiving All-Star nods. That excitement is only going to increase another notch as the team’s official Twitter handle announced that Rizzo and Bryant will, in fact, participate in the Home Run Derby on Monday, July 13 at 7:00 p.m. central time.
Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper will not be a part of the competition as his Father is currently recovering from a torn rotator cuff. His Dad has been the man pitching to him during the event.
Joining Joe Maddon‘s young bucks will be; Josh Donaldson of the Toronto Blue Jays, Prince Fielder of the Texas Rangers, Todd Frazier of the hometown Cincinnati Reds, Manny Machado of the Baltimore Orioles, Joc Pederson of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Los Angeles Angels slugger, Albert Pujols according to CBS Sports.
This year’s format for the derby has been changed to single-man elimination and will no be timed.
Those listed above will have five minutes to hit as many long balls as he possibly can on top of adding an additional 90 seconds to his time depending on the distance of his home runs – which shouldn’t be a problem for everyone involved.
CBS Sports also revealed the match-ups for the first round. No. 1 seed Pujols will take on No. 8 Bryant, No. 4 Pederson squares off against No. 5 Machado, No. 3 Donaldson slugs it out with No. 6 Rizzo, and No. 2 Frazier goes toe-to-toe with No. 7 Fielder.
Having two members of the Chicago Cubs is something that has never been done before. The last Cub to participate was Slammin’ Sammy Sosa back in 2004 when it was held at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas.
Miguel Tejada – who was with the Baltimore Orioles at the time – would end up taking home the trophy.
As of right now, Bryant enters tonight with 12 home runs, 49 RBI and a batting line of .275/.380/.437. Rizzo currently leads the team with 18 home runs but trails Bryant by one RBI while slashing .293/.407/.547.
These two have the opportunity to add onto their totals before entering Cincinnati on Monday with one more game tonight against the Cardinals and a three-game weekend set with the Chicago White Sox.