25 Jul

clearing the bases

Jordan Westburg is on the board. The ex-Mississippi State standout hit MLB career home run No. 1 on Monday, helping Baltimore beat Philadelphia 3-2 in a big interleague series. Westburg is batting .266 in 20 games; he has 60 minor league homers on hs ledger. … Also going yard for the first time in the big leagues was former Biloxi Shuckers standout Sal Frelick, whose blast in his third MLB game helped Milwaukee beat Cincinnati 3-2 in a big National League Central contest. … Coincidentally, those homers came on the same day as Will Verdung’s first as a pro; the Itawamba Community College alum, a recent draftee, went deep in his debut for Atlanta’s rookie club (see previous post). … And in keeping with that theme, South Panola High product Emaarion Boyd hit his first pro homer on Sunday for Philadelphia’s Low-Class A Clearwater team. A 2022 draftee, the 177-pound Boyd, 19, leads the Florida State League in steals with 41. … Jacob Gonzalez and Calvin Harris, both drafted out of Ole Miss by the Chicago White Sox, made their pro debuts on Monday in the Arizona Complex League. Gonzalez started at shortstop and went 0-for-1 with two walks; Harris started at catcher and went 1-for-3. … All 14 players drafted out of the state this year have signed. Tupelo High’s Johnathan Rogers, a 6-foot-3 right-hander picked in Round 20, has inked with Detroit, though mlb.com’s draft tracker doesn’t indicate the bonus. … In Monday’s huge American League West clash between Texas and Houston, ex-MSU star Nathaniel Lowe went 1-for-3 with two walks, two runs and an RBI but the first-place Rangers fell to the Astros 10-9 at Minute Maid Park. Former Ole Miss star Grae Kessinger, a backup infielder, did not play for Houston, which closed to within 2 games of the division lead. … DeSoto Central High alum and current Braves star Austin Riley earned NL player of the week honors after smacking six homers and driving in 16 runs last week. Riley tied a franchise record with homers in five straight games. … Ole Miss product Lance Lynn is listed in an mlb.com article as one of the 17 players most likely to be traded before the Aug. 1 deadline. The veteran pitcher, 36, has had a rough season with the White Sox. … Detroit has announced that former Madison Central standout Spencer Turnbull, on the injured list since May 6, will make a rehab start tonight and another Sunday in A-ball. Turnbull, coming back from 2021 Tommy John surgery, was having a rough time before injuring his neck.

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