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Game 109: Royals @ Twins

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Look up photos of Burch Smith’s hair online. You won’t be disappointed.

89th MLB All-Star Game, presented by Mastercard
“Yeah, I pretend to like kid fans, too! It’s hilarious!”
Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Time: 6:10 Central. Vegas Line: -235 MIN / KC +197

Weather: Start Temp 75°, Much Chance O’ Rain

Opponent’s Nice SB Site: Royals Review

TV: FSN. Radio: Listen To Gladden Gripe About Shifts

Johan Santana’s Twins HOF induction ceremony is scheduled for 6:00. TwinkieTown members remember #57 fondly right here.

Royals starter Burch Smith is a converted reliever who had the dreaded Tommy John surgery in 2015. However, there was a strange silver lining.

He was on Tampa’s 40-man roster at the time, in AAA. And the Rays wanted to add another player to their 40 while keeping Smith. Easy peazy, right, he’s on the DL.

But having a minor-leaguer on the DL doesn’t open up space on your 40-man roster. Only when it’s a major league guy.

So the Rays promoted Smith and stuck him on the MLB disabled list. This meant he got the MLB minimum. Which meant a difference in salary between $82,700 and $508,600.

It’s awful to be injured; it’s less awful if you get some decent injury pay.

Smith throws a mean fastball, which is why teams are still interested in him. However, his velocity drops really sharply during the course of each game. FanGraphs’ Carson Cistulli has the story here, plus a cool GIF of Smith making Denard Span look pretty bad. (Which is hard to do; Span’s pretty good, as you know!) When Smith’s fastball slows down, his change is less effective, and he starts walking guys.

(This is where we’d normally have a nice chart with the pitchers’ stats, but this POS interface won’t let me do that no more, so you’ll just have to trust me on the numbers.)

All-Star Jose Berrios is hurling for the Twins! Be happy! I’m happy! He wasn’t sharp against the BoSox last time out, yet few guys are, so he’s still good.

Lineups (from #Royals and #MNTwins):

Drew Butera hits for the cycle tonight. Bank on it.