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NEW YORK–Orioles catcher Adley Rutschman, who was named on Sunday as a reserve for the American League All-Star team, was added to the Home Run Derby on Monday. The Home Run Derby takes place on July 10th at 8 p.m. at T-Mobile Park in Seattle, the site of next Tuesday’s All-Star Game.
Rutschman will join two-time Derby champion Pete Alonso of the New York Mets, Tampa Bay’s Randy Arozarena, Mookie Betts of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. of the Toronto Blue Jays and Julio Rodriguez of the Seattle Mariners.
Rutschman’s father, Randy, will throw to him in the Home Run Derby. The switch-hitter says he hasn’t decided from which side of the plate he’ll hit, but thinks he’ll start by hitting left-handed. He said it was an easy decision to accept the invitation
“One of those things you have to do,” Rutschman said. “One of the things you dream about as a kid, To be able to do it with dad is awesome. I called him up after I knew … I guess we talked about it in the past if I were to do the Home Run Derby, would he be the one. My answer has always been him, so we knew.”
Rutschman finished second to Rodriguez in American League Rookie of the Year voting last year.
There will be two more participants in the Home Run Derby, which will be shown on ESPN.
Trey Mancini, who finished second to Alonso, was the last Oriole in the Home Run Derby in 2021.
“It’s always fun watching someone you know really well,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “It’s going to be a lot of pressure on him, too. Everyone’s pulling for him.”
Cal Ripken Jr. (1991) and Miguel Tejada (2004) were the last two Orioles to win the event, and Rutschman, who has 11 home runs this season, will try to become the first catcher to win it.
“I haven’t done a Home Run Derby since I was like 8 years old, we’ll figure it out,” Rutschman said. “I’ll have my normal swing until the Hone Run Derby, and then we’ll just figure it out on that day what we want to do.”
Henderson, Bautista get monthly honors: Gunnar Henderson, who’s leading off and playing third base in Monday night’s game against the New York Yankees, was named the American League Rookie of the Month. Closer Félix Bautista was named the AL Reliever of the Month.
Henderson hit .320 with six home runs and 16 RBIs with a .994 OPS in June. Bautista had an 0.84 ERA with seven saves and struck out 22 batters without walking any.
“I think a lot of the fruits of my labor have been coming to fruition,” Bautista said through a translator. “All that hard work finally paying off. ”
After hitting .201 through May 31st, Henderson has raised his average to .239.
“It goes to show you that you’re going to get through it at some point,” Henderson said. “Stick with the process of it. I feel like that’s been a big thing I’ve learned so far.”
Hays, Westburg day-to-day: Outfielder Austin Hays, who was named to the All-Star team along with Bautista, Rutschman and reliever Yennier Cano, is day-to-day because of a bruised left hip. Hays left Sunday’s game after colliding with Minnesota first baseman Donovan Solano.
Westburg is also day-to-day with a bruised left hand after he was hit by a pitch, which drove in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning of the Orioles’ 2-1 win over the Twins.
“We got pretty lucky with two separate incidents with tough collisions there,” Hyde said. “Westburg taking a 100-mph fastball off the back of his hand and Hays running into Solano there at first base. It could have been a lot worse. Fortunately, both are feeling a lot better today.”
Hays had his collision just a few hours after he found out he’d be named to the All-Star team, and Hyde didn’t think it would cost him a chance to appear in the All-Star Game.
“From everybody’s reaction when they were talking about it in the dugout, it didn’t seem like it was going to be too long,” Hyde said. “You never know with that. Definitely didn’t want that to cost him having that experience in Seattle.”
Catcher James McCann, who’s on the 10-day injured list with a sprained left ankle, has a locker at Yankee Stadium after playing two rehab games for Double-A Bowie.
“He came out feeling good,” Hyde said. “Caught two games and got some at-bats. talked to him, he said his ankle feels good and he’s ready to go, so we’re excited about that.”
Hicks returns to New York: Aaron Hicks, who was released by the Yankees on May 26th and signed with the Orioles on May 30th, is playing his first game in New York as an Oriole. Hicks, who is hitting .263 with four home runs and 12 RBIs in 26 games with the Orioles, is batting seventh and playing left field for the Orioles.
Hicks, who played eight seasons with the Yankees and has grown a beard, which was verboten in New York, seems rejuvenated with the Orioles.
“I’m excited to compete against my former team tonight,” Hicks said. “I hope to have some fun … To come and play pretty much every single day, it’s what’s been nice.”
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