July 17, 2018 / 11:39 AM / a month ago

Major League Baseball notebook: Scherzer, Sale announced as All-Star starters

For the second year in a row, Chris Sale of Boston and Max Scherzer of Washington will be the starting pitchers in the All-Star Game, the highlight of Monday’s announcement of the starting lineups.

Jul 16, 2018; Washington, DC, USA; National League starting pitcher Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals, National League manager Dave Roberts of the Los Angeles Dodgers, American League manager A.J. Hinch of the Houston Astros and American League starting pitcher Chris Sale of the Boston Red Sox in a press conference during workouts in preparation for the 2018 MLB All Star Game at Nationals Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

American League manager AJ Hinch of the Houston Astros selected Sale to start Tuesday’s game. This will be the third consecutive start for left-hander, who joins Lefty Gomez (American League, 1933-35) and Robin Roberts (National League, 1953-55) as the only pitchers to start three All-Star games in a row.

Scherzer, 33, will start for the National League squad, managed by the Dodgers’ Dave Roberts, in his home park. The Nationals’ right-hander is 12-5 in 20 starts on the year. His 182 strikeouts and 134 2/3 innings lead the NL.

He becomes the 12th pitcher to start an All-Star Game on his home field and the first since former New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey started at Citi Field in 2013.

—The agent for New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom said the team should think about trading its ace if it doesn’t want to lock him up with a long-term contract.

Brodie van Wagenen told The Athletic in a statement that deGrom wants to discuss “a long-term partnership that would keep him in a Mets uniform for years to come” but added that “if the Mets don’t share same interest, we believe their best course of action is to seriously consider trade opportunities now.”

DeGrom, 30, can become a free agent after the 2020 season. He leads all pitchers with a 1.68 ERA but has only a 5-4 record with 149 strikeouts in 123 1/3 innings as the Mets offense has struggled mightily to score runs for him in his 19 starts.

—The Toronto Blue Jays could be without center fielder Kevin Pillar for 4 to 6 weeks because of a right clavicle injury.

Details emerged about the severity of Pillar’s injury one day after he was placed on the 10-day disabled list. He hurt himself while making a diving catch Saturday. The injury, reportedly a sternoclavicular joint sprain, could be a major emergency if the clavicle is dislocated backward. Pillar’s clavicle reportedly moved forward.

The 29-year-old Pillar, known for his highlight plays in the outfield, is batting .247 with 37 RBIs and 42 runs scored in 93 games.

—The Seattle Mariners optioned right-hander Matt Festa to Double-A Arkansas.

Festa, 25, pitched 2/3 scoreless innings in his big league debut Saturday against the Colorado Rockies. The Brooklyn, N.Y., native was selected by the Mariners in the seventh round in 2016. According to MLB.com’s Greg Johns, the team sent him down so he can continue pitching during the All-Star break.

Seattle will make a corresponding roster move before Friday’s game against the Chicago White Sox.

—The Texas Rangers made four roster moves on the first day of the All-Star break.

The team announced that veteran outfielder Austin Jackson cleared waivers and had become a free agent. The 31-year-old Jackson hit .242 with no home runs and 13 RBIs in 59 games with the San Francisco Giants this season, but he was dealt to Texas on July 8 and did not appear in a game with the club.

The Rangers also reinstated catcher Carlos Perez from the 10-day disabled list and assigned him to Triple-A Round Rock. Left-hander Left-handed pitcher Joe Palumbo was reinstated from the 60-day disabled list and optioned to High-A Down East. Another southpaw, Yohander Mendez, was promoted from Down East to Double-A Frisco.

—Field Level Media

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