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Seattle Mariners calling up top pitching prospect Logan Gilbert, sources say



The Seattle Mariners are calling up right-hander Logan Gilbert, their top pitching prospect, and he’s likely to start Thursday against the Cleveland Indians, sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

Gilbert is ranked as the No. 43 prospect in baseball, according to ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel.

Seattle is also expected to call up touted outfield prospect Jarred Kelenic, the No. 6 pick in the 2018 amateur draft, on Thursday, sources told Passan.

Gilbert made his Triple-A debut for the Tacoma Rainiers on Friday. He allowed one run on four hits with no walks and five strikeouts in five innings of work.

Gilbert, the 14th pick in the 2018 draft, popped up in the Cape Cod League the summer before his draft year, working in the mid-90s with above-average stuff and starter command. During his sophomore season at Stetson, he was pitching deep into games, regularly well over 100 pitches, and his velocity was hovering in the low 90s with a less sharp breaking ball.

He profiles as a bulk-inning midrotation starter with solid average stuff and plus command, according to McDaniel.

The 18-18 Mariners, third in the AL West entering Wednesday, have had to lean heavily on their bullpen after injuries to Marco Gonzales (left forearm strain), James Paxton (season-ending Tommy John surgery) and Nick Margevicius (left shoulder inflammation). Seattle is down to four healthy members of its six-man rotation to start the season: Yusei Kikuchi, Justus Sheffield, Chris Flexen and Justin Dunn.

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Ranking MLB’s City Connect uniforms



Major League Baseball and Nike introduced the City Connect series this season to shake up uniform design across the sport in the most dramatic fashion since the league introduced the Turn Ahead the Clock alternates in the late 1990s.

Nike has been working with each MLB team to craft a uniform that expresses the personality and communities of the team’s home city. So far, we’ve seen five City Connect uniforms — for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox and Miami Marlins. More are still to come, with the San Francisco Giants‘ alternates scheduled to be unveiled on July 9 and the Los Angeles Dodgers‘ scheduled for late August. This is only a soft launch for City Connect — by the end of the 2023 season every team is expected to have its own iteration.

After taking over as the uniform supplier for the NFL and the NBA, Nike pushed for radical uniform design changes in those leagues, a move that is now making its way into the baseball world. While some MLB traditionalists have scoffed, many of the designs have sold out quickly after their unveiling.

With some of the designs more polarizing than others, here’s our breakdown of the uniforms that have dropped so far — and how we rank them.

1. Chicago White Sox

Debut: June 5 vs. Detroit Tigers

Design inspiration: Chicago’s uniform displays “Southside” in gray Gothic font, a nod to the Greystone architectural style of Chicago. The team’s dark gray pinstriped pants also provide a unique design touch not often seen in baseball today. The look resembles the Turn Back the Clock uniforms the team wore in tribute to the Chicago American Giants. Nike and the White Sox also say the design was inspired by the team’s influence in hip-hop culture.

Fan reception: Of the various City Connect uniforms, the White Sox received the strongest positive reaction from fans, with the jerseys selling out quickly on the day they were made available in the White Sox team store.

Verdict: The White Sox became the first team in the series to experiment with pants that weren’t white, and made a statement with the pinstriped look. While the gothic-style font could be divisive and stands out as the most distinctive element of this uniform set, this set’s ability to both differentiate itself while staying true to the White Sox makes it stand out from the pack.

2. Miami Marlins

Debut: May 21 vs. New York Mets

Design inspiration: The Marlins went with a bright red pinstriped uniform and a predominantly blue hat with a red bill. The jerseys pay tribute to the Sugar Kings, a Triple-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds that played in Cuba from 1946 through 1960. Both the uniform patch and the logo on the hat call back to the original Sugar Kings logo. The uniform is not an exact copy of the Sugar Kings jersey, which was white and featured red pinstripes.

Fan reception: A largely positive response on social media greeted the Marlins uniforms, which deviated from the “Miami Vice” theme that Nike could have easily defaulted to after the positive reception for the Miami Heat alternates. Given the history of bold uniforms in Marlins franchise history, the faux throwback to the Sugar Kings falls right in line with the team’s closet of jerseys.

Verdict: While the connection to the Sugar Kings isn’t explicitly Miami, the city does have a massive Cuban population, and the uniform’s colors fit in with the pastel aesthetic that colors the city.

3. Boston Red Sox

Debut: April 17 vs. White Sox

Design inspiration: The Red Sox went with the most radical design among the uniforms released thus far, unveiling the first uniform in team history to feature yellow and blue as the primary colors. On the front of the yellow jersey, there is a blue stenciled font in addition to a blue hat. While the team featured blue as a primary color through 1907, the team has primarily sported red since 1908. The Boston Marathon and Patriots Day hold a special place in the culture of Boston, and the team decided to pay homage to the city’s unique holiday through its uniforms, highlighted by the 617 marathon bib patch on the left sleeve.

Fan reception: While many traditionalist fans disliked the departure from the team’s classic white and red uniforms, others embraced the design. Although the uniforms received a mixed reception, the Red Sox sold out of the new jerseys and the City Connect merchandise that was released along with them at the Fenway Park team store.

Verdict: We give high marks for boldness and the team’s desire to do something outside of the norm. The City Connect series is not meant to appeal to everyone, and by going with something surprising and outside the box while receiving a relatively positive reception, the Red Sox are pushing forward the idea of what a baseball uniform can look like.

4. Arizona Diamondbacks

Debut: June 18 vs. Dodgers

Design inspiration: The Diamondbacks unveiled a gold uniform referencing the Sonoran Desert and the state’s Hispanic culture, with “Serpientes” across the front. Not straying too far from the team’s existing colors, Arizona decided to flip its primary and secondary colors, making the team’s distinctive Sedona Red color an accent through the numbers. The uniform patch on the left sleeve features the Arizona state flag and a reference to Phoenix’s nickname as the Valley of the Sun.

Fan reception: The Diamondbacks received a largely positive, but less passionate, reaction, with many on social media feeling that the team’s uniform set didn’t do much to differentiate itself from the rest of the series. Some fans enjoyed the more reserved approach to the alternates, while others felt bored by the relatively safe design choices.

Verdict: The decision to use gold as a primary uniform color is what makes Arizona’s foray stick out. While the Diamondbacks certainly did not go as bold as the Red Sox or the Marlins in changing up their look, the decision to use a color normally not seen on a baseball field as a primary makes it more adventurous than the safe design put forth by the Cubs.

5. Chicago Cubs

Debut: June 12 vs. St. Louis Cardinals

Design inspiration: The Cubs uniforms feature a largely navy blue design with light blue accents meant to evoke the Chicago flag, with “Wrigleyville” across the front in a font similar to the ballpark’s marquee and each of the city’s 77 neighborhoods acknowledged with names on the sleeves of the dugout and bullpen jackets. The jersey’s left sleeve features a patch of the Chicago municipal device logo and a circle with a Y, symbolizing the north, south and main branches of the Chicago River.

Fan reception: The uniforms leaked ahead of their formal reveal and received a largely negative reception from fans, many of whom felt they were boring compared to the rest of the City Connect series, although some appreciated the more toned-down approach.

Verdict: The Cubs took far and away the safest approach to the series so far, which made the new alternates look relatively tame and a tad boring. The use of blue pants deviated from the norm, which is a positive, but overall, the Cubs got outshined by their rivals on the South Side.

Still to come

San Francisco Giants

When we’ll see them: They’re scheduled to be unveiled July 9

Los Angeles Dodgers

When we’ll see them: Sometime in August

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Yankees turn a triple play you’ve never seen before



The New York Yankees have had their issues this season, but they’ve got at least one thing down — turning triple plays.

In Thursday night’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays in Buffalo, the Yankees turned their second triple play of the season, a first in franchise history. It must be said, however, that New York got considerable help from some shoddy baserunning by the Blue Jays on the history-making play.

In the bottom of the first inning, the first two Blue Jays batters reached base, Marcus Semien with a leadoff walk and Bo Bichette on an infield single. They moved up to second and third on a wild pitch by Yankees starter Michael King, setting the stage for one of the oddest triple plays you’ll see.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit a tapper to the third-base side of the mound. King fielded it and threw to first to get Guerrero — simple enough. But for some reason, Bichette broke for third with Semien just a few feet up the line.

First baseman DJ LeMahieu threw to second, behind Bichette, and Semien then broke for home. Gleyber Torres threw home, and after a brief rundown, Semien was tagged by third baseman Gio Urshela for the second out. Bichette then tried to sneak into third base, but Urshela spun and threw to Torres covering and Bichette was gone. The Jays challenged the call to no avail. Score it 1-3-6-2-5-6, the first triple play of its kind in baseball history.

The Yankees’ first triple play of the season on May 21 was much cleaner and more conventional, an around-the-horn job against the Chicago White Sox that got Aroldis Chapman out of a ninth-inning jam.

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Tampa Bay Rays prospect Tyler Zombro grateful for support since struck by liner



Tampa Bay Rays pitching prospect Tyler Zombro, who underwent major brain surgery after being struck in the head by a line drive during a Triple-A game June 3, posted a series of tweets Thursday expressing gratitude for the support and care he received during his recovery.

In his tweets, Zombro also shared photos of his post-surgery recovery at Duke University Hospital.

Zombro, a 26-year-old reliever for the Rays’ Triple-A affiliate, the Durham Bulls, had spent five days in the intensive care unit and two more in the hospital before being discharged on June 9. He remains in Durham, North Carolina, with his family and is continuing with outpatient and occupational therapy.

The incident occurred in the eighth inning of a game against the Norfolk Tides in Durham.

Zombro was struck in the face by a line drive off the bat of Brett Cumberland and immediately fell to the ground. His feet appeared to be shaking as an athletic trainer rushed to him. Zombro was taken off the field on a stretcher and transported to the hospital.

Zombro has been in the Rays’ organization since 2017, when he signed as an undrafted free agent out of George Mason. He has a 3.18 ERA this season and a 2.79 career ERA in the minors.

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