Baltimore Sun



Mets: Mets ace Jacob deGrom will make at least one more minor league rehab start before rejoining the rotation. The two-time Cy Young Award winner, sidelined all season by a stress reaction in his right scapula, threw 60 pitches over five innings in a simulated game Thursday at the team’s complex in Florida. Mets manager Buck Showalter said deGrom felt good Friday and his next step will be a throwing session Sunday as part of a work day at Citi Field in New York. After that, if all goes well, he’ll pitch for a minor league affiliate a few days later and then get slotted into the rotation.

Royals: Two-time All-Star Whit Merrifield of the Royals apologized Friday for “poorly articulate­d” comments about the COVID-19 vaccine after missing the team’s trip to Canada. Merrifield was among 10 Royals players who didn’t travel to Toronto because of their vaccinatio­n status for a four-game series against the Blue Jays before the All-Star break last week. The 33-year-old outfielder/ second baseman has been a fan favorite in Kansas City. But backlash came quickly and harshly after Merrifield said “the vaccine, what it’s supposed to do, it’s not doing. If it was doing what it was supposed to do and stopping the spread of COVID (then) I would have a little more willingnes­s to take it, but it’s not doing that.” He tried to clear up those comments before the Royals opened the second half. “I’m sorry that I poorly articulate­d the point I was trying to make,” Merrifield said. “It’s an uncomforta­ble topic and I started rambling on and trying to make a point about my passion for winning that had no relevance to the topic that was being discussed. For that I am truly sorry.” Merrifield has played his entire career for Kansas City, but some fans were not happy about a comment suggesting he might get the vaccine if he were traded to a contender.

Pirates, Mets: The firstplace Mets added some much-needed punch at designated hitter Friday, acquiring Daniel Vogelbach from the Pirates in a trade for rookie reliever Colin Holderman. The burly Vogelbach, a left-handed hitter and an All-Star in 2019 with the Mariners, was batting .228 with 12 home runs, 34 RBIs and a .769 OPS in 75 games with the struggling Pirates. The 26-yearold Holderman is 4-0 with a 2.04 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 15 appearance­s covering 17 innings. Opponents are batting .186 against him.

Marlins: Marlins All-Star second baseman Jazz Chisholm Jr. likely will be out through the end of August. Tests revealed Chisholm has a stress reaction in his lower back, the Marlins said Friday. He is expected to miss six weeks. Chisholm, 24, was selected to the National League All-Star team for the first time in his career. However, he was forced to miss Tuesday’s game at Los Angeles. He has been on the injured list since June 29 with what was called a right lower back strain. “He was really pushing hard to get to that All-Star Game, so we knew there had to be something more seriously wrong when he couldn’t make it,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said before his team played the Pittsburgh Pirates. “Now, it’s time to take the steps for him to get it right and go through that process. You feel bad for Jazz. He’s having a great year.” Chisholm is hitting .254 with 14 home runs, 45 RBIs and 12 stolen bases in 60 games.

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