Don't expect to see this guy in the All-Star Game


Don't expect to see this guy in the All-Star Game

From Comcast SportsNet
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The Los Angeles Dodgers have all but ruled out injured slugger Matt Kemp for next month's All-Star game in Kansas City. "It's a long shot at this point because he's not healthy," general manager Ned Colletti said Monday before the opener of a three-game series at San Francisco. The slugging center fielder is still recovering from a strained left hamstring that landed him on the disabled list for a second time this season May 31. The 2011 NL MVP runner-up first missed time from May 14-29. Manager Don Mattingly is supportive if Kemp wants to participate in the Home Run Derby, as Los Angeles' medical staff has given him the go-ahead to do so. Kemp said last week in Oakland he had discussed the Midsummer Classic with Mattingly and wants to make sure he is fully healthy for the second half with NL West-leading Los Angeles. "You wouldn't expect anything else out of anybody else," Colletti said of Kemp's team-first focus. "We're talking about All-Star games and things like that, it's tough for us to look into the future when we don't even have a rehab game scheduled." Mattingly hopes Kemp might begin a rehab assignment before the break, but the thinking is the Dodgers will want Kemp to return to playing big league games before clearing him to play in the All-Star game -- and there isn't much time left for him to do both. "I think he feels the same way," Mattingly said. "He's not ready to play yet." Ideally, Kemp would play in five or six minor league games first. He leads the National League in votes, with his total at 3,322,009 in baseball's latest count. New NL numbers will be released Tuesday. "As an organization we're kind of the bad guy in this," Mattingly said. "That's the way it has to be." Kemp, who predicted in spring training he might just become the first player to ever hit 50 home runs and steal 50 bases, is batting .355 with 12 homers and 28 RBIs in 36 games and has two stolen bases. Mattingly left open the slim possibility of Kemp appearing in the All-Star game July 10 at Kauffman Stadium if he has already returned to the Dodgers' lineup first. "We talked about him playing for us before we get there, so if he's been able to do all that and play for us before the All-Star game ... we're talking about all this guessing when he's going to be ready," Mattingly said. "It seems silly to me, honestly. He's not ready to play yet, he's still going through the process of running bases and running curves. We're talking about an All-Star game, we're talking about practice." Second baseman Mark Ellis, recovering from left leg surgery, also is close to going on a rehab assignment and is considered to be slightly ahead of Kemp, schedule-wise. He also is expected back in the lineup after the All-Star break.

McCloughan reveals where the Redskins will line up Cravens in base defense


McCloughan reveals where the Redskins will line up Cravens in base defense

When the Redskins draft Su’a Cravens in the second round, they told him that he would be a nickel outside linebacker. But his jersey number is 36, which is not a linebackers number; it is the number that safety Sean Taylor wore during his rookie year. And he was listed on the roster as a safety.

When speaking to the media yesterday, Scot McCloughan was still unsure what meeting room Cravens would sit in. Apparently the situation has been clarified. This morning McCloughan said that  Cravens will play strong safety in the Redskins’ base defense.

“I think he’ll come in as a strong safety,” McCloughan told Mike Florio on PFT Live. “We’ll put him in that room first.”

The fact that they will start him off at safety, however, does not mean that they will not take advantage of his versatility.

“As you’re well aware, he has the ability to play outside backer,” said McCloughan. “The thing we’re excited about . . . is pass rush ability. We see him, in base, probably being a strong safety, in sub, be an outside backer, even play him at inside linebacker in sub.”

McCloughan sees Cravens as a player who can become a playmaker on a defense that doesn’t have many players like that.

“He’s a good football player, you know, he’s instinctive. Day 1, he talked into USC, starting making plays,” he said. “Again, he’s not the biggest, he’s not the fastest, he’s not the quickest but he makes plays. He’s got instincts. That’s what you look for on Sundays.”

Chris Tillman starts as Orioles begin life without J.J. Hardy


Chris Tillman starts as Orioles begin life without J.J. Hardy

Tonight's Game: New York Yankees (8-15) vs. Baltimore Orioles (14-10), Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, 7:05 p.m. 

Starting pitchers: Luis Severino (0-3, 6.86) vs. Chris Tillman (2-1, 3.24)

Keys to the Game:

Can the Orioles play well without J.J. Hardy? They were 17-33 in games he didn't start last season.

Can Tillman keep on his roll? He allowed two hits in 6 2/3 innings on Thursday at Tampa Bay.

News and Notes:

The Orioles will place Hardy on the disabled list and recall Ryan Flaherty from Norfolk. 

Tillman is 6-6 with a 4.96 ERA in 16 starts against the Yankees. 

Alex Rodriguez is 6-for-13 (.462) with four home runs against Tillman. Mark Teixeira is 9-for-23 (.391).

Matt Wieters is 2 for his last 20. 

Five stats to understand Capitals' Game 3 loss to Penguins


Five stats to understand Capitals' Game 3 loss to Penguins


Five stats to know following the Capitals' Game 3 loss to the Penguins:

One’s best shot: The Capitals' 49 shots on goal are the 2nd most in a playoff regulation loss in team history. Back in 2010, Washington had 54 shots against Montreal. The 49 shots are the most in any Capitals playoff game since 2011 against the Rangers.

Parting shot: The Capitals outshot the Penguins by 26 (49-23) which tied for their 4th highest shot differential in playoff team history. Five times the Capitals have had a shot differential of +26 or better but Washington’s 1-4 in those games.

Slow start, strong finish: The Capitals have outscored their opponents 11-3 in the third period this postseason. But similar to the regular season, the start of games hasn’t been pretty. Washington’s managed 3 goals in the opening period of these 2016 playoffs. The Capitals scored 0 goals in the first period of Game 3, and trailed the Penguins 2-0 after the first 20 minutes.

Equal treatment?: The NHL suspended Brooks Orpik for 3 games for interference against Olli Maatta. Will the NHL do the same for Kris Letang’s hit against Marcus Johansson? The Penguins are 2-8-1 this season without Kris Letang in the lineup.

No better place: If numbers told the whole story, the Capitals may have the Penguins right where they want them. Washington has a 6-11 series record when leading 2 games to 1 in a best-of-7 series. But when trailing 2 to 1 in a best-of-7, the Capitals are 6-7 with a 3-1 series record since 2009.