Wire Taps: Washington Nationals' Bryce Harper In HR Derby; A.J. Cole Added To All-Star Futures Roser

Jim McIsaac

The Washington Nationals will be well-represented throughout next week's All-Star festivities in Citi Field in NY. A.J. Cole will be in the Futures Game. Bryce Harper will be in the HR Derby. And Harper and Jordan Zimmermann (and Ian Desmond if you VOTE!) will be in the All-Star Game itself...

David Wright told reporters that the decision to choose Washington Nationals' slugger Bryce Harper for his team along with Carlos Gonzalez and Michael Cuddyer in the All-Star Home Run Derby was an easy one. "'I took the guy that won the fan poll -- the guy who the fans really wanted to see in the Home Run Derby. So you have CarGo and Bryce Harper,'" Wright said, "'And that left me with the 'Ryder Cup captain's pick.'" So the 20-year-old Nats' outfielder will be in Citi Field on July 15th trying to hit home runs onto the Shea Bridge in right-center. At least there's a reason to finally watch that... exciting event.

The Nationals had another 2013 All-Star Game festivities-related update on Monday. Right-hander Taylor Jordan was named to the All-Star Futures Game roster a week or so back, but the 24-year-old Nats' prospect is apparently going to remain in the majors since Washington put Ross Detwiler on the DL, so A.J. Cole was selected to take Jordan's spot in the prospect showcase. The Nationals' 21-year-old 2010 4th Round pick was, of course, traded to the Oakland A's in the Gio Gonzalez deal, only to be reacquired when Michael Morse was sent to Seattle in the three-team trade with the Mariners and Athletics.

Cole is (5-3) with a 4.58 ERA, 3.45 FIP, 22 walks (2.24 BB/9) and 98 Ks (9.98 K/9) in 16 starts and 88 1/3 IP for the Potomac Nationals, the Nats' High-A affiliate, so far this season. When Nationals' GM Mike Rizzo talked about getting Cole back in the Morse trade, he dismissed concerns about Cole's struggles during his one season in the A's system.

"His developmental curve is on track" Rizzo told reporters, "and we're going to get him with our pitching people and kind of straighten out his delivery and I think that this guy will be a quick mover for us from this point forward." If you haven't seen Cole pitch yet, you might get a chance this Sunday (at 2:00 pm EDT). Until then... it's links and lots of them, starting... RIGHT NOW!!!:

• THE BIG STORY!!!:

• "[Scott] Hairston is on a two-year deal thru next season at $2.5M-a-year. So that means the Nats are committed to him for ’14 if he works out reasonably well." - "Thomas Boswell on Scott Hairston trade and its implications" - Thomas Boswell, Washington Post

• NATS BEAT:

• "'I think this year, I was initially happy where I ended up, with the Cubs, but obviously with the way it ended, I’m a National now.'" - Scott Hairston - "Scott Hairston discusses joining the Nationals" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "[Scott] Hairston hit just .172 in 52 games with the Cubs, but managed to hit eight homers in 99 at-bats." - "Nationals make deal, acquire outfielder Scott Hairston from Cubs" - Stephen Pianovich, nationals.com: News

• "There’s no better reminder that the long-dormant race for the National League East’s pennant is finally alive than Scott Hairston." - "Scott Hairston deal may not be a big one, but it is a important trade" - Nathan Fenno, Washington Times

• "The trade was made official on Monday morning, and [Scott] Hairston finally arrived by first pitch in Philadelphia and sat in the dugout with his new teammates and in a new uniform." - "Meet the new guy: Scott Hairston" - James Wagner, Washington Post


• "Mike Rizzo didn't just know he needed a veteran, right-handed outfielder for his bench, he knew Scott Hairston was the guy he wanted more than anyone else." - "Rizzo not looking to make more trades" - Mark Zuckerman, Comcast SportsNet Washington

• Listen While You Link:

• "The struggling Tyler Moore, batting .151/.195/.283 this season, was optioned back to Triple-A Syracuse to make room for [Scott] Hairston." - "Nationals Pastime: Rizzo, Johnson discuss Hairston acquisition" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "The Cubs and Nationals talked on and off, and as Tyler Moore remained stuck on the bench for eight straight games before Sunday and a four-game series with the lefty-heavy Phillies approached, Rizzo wanted to act." - "Scott Hairston trade a result of his experience, Nationals’ familiarity with him" - Adam Kilgore, Washington Post

• "[Scott] Hairston has played for only two winning teams in his 10 big-league seasons: the 2007 and 2010 Padres. He has never reached the postseason." - "Hairston excited to join 'winning team'" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "[Scott] Hairston’s addition was the product of a few weeks of discussions between the Nationals and the Cubs, culminating with their agreement late Sunday night in exchange for minor league right-hander Ivan Pineyro." - "Why the Nationals traded for Scott Hairston" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "It was announced Monday that Harper will compete in the 2013 Chevrolet Home Run Derby, which will be held July 15." - "Nationals' Bryce Harper first-time participant in Home Run Derby" - Stephen Pianovich, nationals.com: News

• "[Bryce] Harper will participate in the derby on Monday, the first Nationals player ever selected for the home-run-hitting contest." - "Harper in HR Derby" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "Bryce Harper has accepted his invitation to participate in next Monday’s Home Run Derby as part of All-Star Game festivities in New York." - "Bryce Harper to participate in the Home Run Derby" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "[Bryce] Harper will become the first Nationals player ever to participate in the event, which will take place Monday, July 15 at Citi Field in New York." - "Bryce Harper to participate in 2013 Home Run Derby" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times


• "[John] Lannan was his typical self today - not overpowering anyone, but locating his sinker and keeping hitters off-balance. The Nats know Lannan's repertoire, but they couldn't touch him tonight." - "Nationals Pastime: Hearing from Lannan, Desmond and Hairston" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "It was the kind of easy-going, efficient performance the Nationals received every so often from Lannan over the years, but not with enough consistency to convince general manager Mike Rizzo he was worth bringing back for the $5 million or so he would have cost via arbitration." - "Lannan beats Haren, ends Nats winning streak" - Mark Zuckerman, Comcast SportsNet Washington

• "The Nationals did not score until the ninth and couldn't drum up any support for Dan Haren, who made his first start since June 22." - "Washington Nationals at Philadelphia Phillies - July 8, 2013" - Stephen Pianovich, MLB.com WSH Recap

• "Davey Johnson said he planned to get Scott Hairston in the starting lineup for at least one game this series, and there's probably a good chance the Nats' newest outfielder will be in there tonight." - "Nationals Pastime: A step forward from Haren or more of the same?" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• "It was the kind of easy-going, efficient performance the Nationals received every so often from [John] Lannan over the years, but not with enough consistency to convince general manager Mike Rizzo he was worth bringing back for the $5 million or so he would have cost via arbitration." - "Lannan beats Haren, ends Nats winning streak" - Mark Zuckerman, Comcast SportsNet Washington

• "Testing out the strategy of skipping Triple-A and promoting players straight from Double-A, the Nationals will give 24-year-old Taylor Jordan his third Major League start." - "Washington Nationals at Philadelphia Phillies - July 9, 2013" - Jason Mastrodonato, MLB.com Preview

• "[Ross] Detwiler didn’t make the trip to Philadelphia with the Nationals. He has been receiving treatment on his back." - "Ross Detwiler expected to return soon after the all-star break" - James Wagner, Washington Post

• "For the last little push into a fresh start, [Dan] Haren decided to pull his socks up high despite admitted self-consciousness about his 'pretty embarrassin' calves." - "John Lannan outduels Dan Haren as Nationals' comeback falls short in loss to Phillies" - Amanda Comak, Washington Times

• "After a week's worth of (mostly) impressive offensive performances, there was every reason to believe the Nationals would keep it going tonight." - "Instant analysis: Phillies 3, Nats 2" - Mark Zuckerman, NatsInsider.com

• "Having seen [John] Lannan up close and personal for the last handful of years, you would think the Nats' hitters would have a good idea what Lannan is bringing to the table and know how best to attack him." - "Nationals Pastime: Johnson discusses Nats' 3-2 loss" - Dan Kolko, MASNSports.com

• Your Daily Message From The Dalai Lama On Twitter (@DalaiLama):

• NATIONAL(S) BEAT:

• "Earlier in the season, pitcher John Lannan shook off the idea of having extra motivation against the Washington Nationals, the organization that drafted him in 2005." - "John Lannan throws eight shutout innings in Phillies win" - Mandy Housenick, baltimoresun.com

• "Ben Revere's left hand scraped home Monday for another Phillies run. His body tumbled four feet past the plate." - "Lannan and Phillies take first game from Nationals" - Matt Gelb, Philadelphia Inquirer

• "[Ivan] Pineyro is a 6-1, 200 pound right-hander born September 29, 1991. He has a solid 89-94 MPH fastball and a very good changeup, but his breaking ball has been rated as mediocre before this year." - "Cubs Trade Scott Hairston to Nationals for prospect Ivan Pineyro" - John Sickels, Minor League Ball

• "According to Jed Hoyer, the two players to be named later 'will not affect the balance of the deal', so it’s basically Hairston for Pineyro, with the Cubs picking up a small part of Hairston’s small contract for 2014." - "The Nationals Add Scott Hairston, Nifty Role Player" - Dave Cameron, FanGraphs Baseball

• NATS MINORS:

• "[A.J.] Cole is ranked No. 76 on MLB.com's Top 100 prospect list. He was a key piece to the trade that brought left-hander Gio Gonzalez to Washington, and he was then reacquired by the Nationals in the Michael Morse deal in January." - "Five prospects added to Futures Game rosters" - Teddy Cahill, nationals.com: News

• "Left-hander Matt Purke did not have a good outing in his second start for high Single-A Potomac on Monday night, a 12-9 loss at Winston-Salem." - "Prospect Purke roughed up in second start for P-Nats" - Byron Kerr, MASNSports.com

Class-A Auburn: Doubledays 5, Crosccutters 1 - Greg Zebrack - 3 for 3, 1 HR, 3 RBIs; Austin Voth - 4.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 5 Ks - Auburn Doubledays Scoreboard

Class-A Auburn: "Auburn scattered seven hits, with Wilman Rodriguez and Austin Chubb each registering two. Chubb doubled and scored when Wilmer Difo grounded into a fielder's choice in the seventh for the Doubledays' lone run." - "Doubledays split doubleheader with Crosscutters" - Auburn Citizen Staff

Class-A Hagerstown: Suns 11, Shorebirds 7 - Estarlin Martinez - 2 for 3, 4 R, 3 RBI; Bryan Harper - (W, 5-1), 2.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER - Hagerstown Suns Scoreboard

Class-A Potomac: "Nationals LHP Matt Purke (0-1), the losing pitcher, endured his roughest professional outing allowing nine earned runs on eleven hits, both career highs." - "Slugfest in Winston-Salem Yields 12-9 Win for Dash in Opener" - Potomac Nationals News

Double-A Harrisburg: "Matt Grace tossed three-and-two-thirds innings in relief and allowed one run to earn his second win." - "Sens Head into Break With 3-2 Win" - Marshall Kelner, Harrisburg Senators News

• "About an hour into Monday afternoon’s rain delay, Sens pitching coach Paul Menhart gave left-hander Matt Grace the news: He would be taking over for right-handed starter Nathan Karns, who was done after 3.1 innings." - "Mental toughness; strong relief work; well-earned time off: Harrisburg Senators game notebook" - Dave Sottile, PennLive.com

• "Tuesday’s News & Notes" - Luke Erickson, NationalsProspects.com

• NATSTOWN:

• "Washington Nationals Records by Opponent 2005 to 2013" - Mark Hornbaker, D.C. Baseball History

• "In one corner, there was the champ - or at least the one who was supposed to make the Nationals World Series contenders. Dan Haren..." - "Nationals Buzz: A closer look at the Lannan-Haren fight" - Ted Leavengood, MASNSports.com

• "John Lannan blanks Nats" - Nats Enquirer

• "Dan Haren, the Nats $13 million off-season free agent prize, came off the disabled list for the start and the Phillies didn’t waste any time laying into him in the first inning." - "Washington Nationals Game 89 Review: Bats go quiet against Lannan in 3-2 loss" - Dave Nichols, District Sports Page

• "I like [John] Lannan not because he's a nice guy or anything. I have no idea. I like Lannan because he defies expectations." - "Lannan's revenge" - Harper, Nationals Baseball

• "The game started on a sour note, as Dan Haren didn’t waste much time reminding Nats fans of their distaste for him in his return from the DL." - "Despite Ninth-Inning Comeback, Nats Drop Opener To Phillies" - Erin Flynn, The Nats Blog

• "Bryce Harper will participate in 2013 Home Run Derby" - Nats Enquirer

• NL EAST UPDATES:

Mets: "The Mets have to be open-minded about trading Parnell this month because two factors exist that could increase his value..." - "Joel Sherman’s Hardball: Bobby Parnell of New York Mets might return a lot in a trade" - Joel Sherman, NYPOST.com

Phillies: "[Ryan] Howard tore a meniscus in his left knee, the team said Monday. He will miss six to eight weeks from the date of his surgery..." - "Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard out 6-8 weeks with torn meniscus" - Matt Gelb, Philadelphia Inquirer

Marlins: "After five Marlins relievers had retired 24 straight Atlanta batters, the bottom fell out on the sixth as the Braves erupted late for a runaway 7-1 victory in 14 innings." - "Record performance by Miami Marlins bullpen is wasted in loss to Atlanta Braves" - Clark Spencer, MiamiHerald.com

Braves: "It’s been nearly 2 1/2 months of scuffling for Justin Upton, and Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez has been questioned and criticized for continuing to bat him in the third spot in the lineup." - "J. Upton’s 2-run double keys big 14th inning in Braves’ 7-1..." - David O'Brien, www.ajc.com

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