TORONTO -- Left-hander Daniel Norris and outfielder Dalton Pompey will represent the Blue Jays at the upcoming Futures Game during Major League Baseball's All-Star break.
The Futures Game features some of the game's top Minor League prospects in a matchup of the United States vs. the World. Norris was named to the U.S. team, while Canadian Pompey will play for the World team.
The 16th annual SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game will take place at 5 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 13, at Target Field in Minneapolis, and it can be seen live on MLB.com and MLB Network, and followed live on MLB.com's Gameday. In addition, XM Radio will broadcast play-by-play coverage of the event live on MLB Network Radio XM 89 and Sirius channel 209. MLB.com will also provide complete coverage before, during and after the game.
Fans can stay updated by following @MLBFutures on Twitter and can send and receive tweets to and from the U.S. and World Team dugouts during the game by tagging tweets with the hashtags #USDugout and #WorldDugout.
Major League Baseball, in conjunction with the Major League Baseball Scouting Bureau, MLB.com, Baseball America and the 30 Major League clubs, selected the 25 players currently on each team.
Each Major League organization is represented, and players from all full-season Minor Leagues were eligible to participate. Complete Futures Game rosters, prospect analysis and rankings can be found at mlb.com/pipeline.
Norris has arguably taken the biggest step forward of any Blue Jays prospect this season. He appears to have solved some of his previous control problems and made a couple of mechanical adjustments which have led to improved numbers. Norris went 6-0 with a sparkling 1.22 ERA and 76 strikeouts over 66 1/3 innings at Class A Dunedin. He was recently promoted to Double-A and has made one start with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.
Pompey also has enjoyed a breakout season with Dunedin. He hit .268 with Lansing last season, but he is currently hitting .312 with a .392 on-base percentage, 22 extra-base hits and 27 stolen bases in 67 games. Pompey is currently ranked the No. 18 prospect in Toronto's system by MLB.com.
The Blue Jays currently have 10 players on their active roster who previously participated in the Futures Game. They include: Jose Bautista, Mark Buehrle, Melky Cabrera, Edwin Encarnacion, Dioner Navarro, Jose Reyes, Colby Rasmus, Juan Francisco, Brett Lawrie and Anthony Gose.
Encarnacion's All-Star hopes survive collision at first
TORONTO -- The Blue Jays survived a serious scare on Tuesday night when Edwin Encarnacion came away feeling fine after a violent collision at first base.
Encarnacion was attempting to come up with an errant throw from Jose Reyes during the seventh inning of Toronto's 7-6 victory. The high bounce caused Encarnacion to move back on the ball and into harm's way, as Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira was running down the line.
The two players crashed into each other, and Teixeira's elbow or forearm appeared to inadvertently hit Encarnacion in the back of the head. Encarnacion hit the ground hard and remained there for a couple of minutes, but he stayed in the game after he was cleared by the medical staff.
"Right now, I feel good, I feel great, I feel 100 percent," Encarnacion said after the game. "He got me on the back of the head. I just tried to reach for the ball, went back, and he ran on his way."
An injury to Encarnacion would have been another serious blow to a Blue Jays team that is already without Jose Bautista because of a left hamstring injury. Encarnacion has arguably been the club's top hitter this season, leading the Major Leagues with 24 home runs.
Encarnacion also had his 25th multihit game of the season with a 2-for-3 night on Tuesday, which included a pair of runs scored. Seven of those multihit games have come over his past 10 contests, and he's hitting .277 with a Major League-leading 63 RBIs.
Despite the impressive numbers, Encarnacion hasn't receive a lot of attention in the voting for the upcoming All-Star Game in Minnesota. Encarnacion ranks fourth at the designated hitter position with 1,276,851 votes as of the last official update, which was released Sunday night. Baltimore's Nelson Cruz is first with 2,457,349.
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com -- online or on a mobile device -- using the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian until Thursday, July 3, at 11:59 p.m. ET. The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15 on FOX.
Bautista sits, but won't rule out pinch-hitting
TORONTO -- Jose Bautista remained out of action on Tuesday because of a mild strain in his left hamstring.
Bautista was diagnosed with a Grade 1 strain on Monday afternoon, which is the mildest form. He was expected to miss the three-game series against New York, but he wouldn't rule out the possibility of being used as a pinch-hitter.
The 33-year-old also can't say for sure that he will be able to avoid a stint on the disabled list. He's giving the hamstring a couple of days of rest to see how it recovers before making any final decisions about his future.
Bautista, who was recently named captain for the American League in the upcoming Home Run Derby, is hitting .305 with 15 homers and 49 RBIs in 77 games this season. Kevin Pillar got the start in right field Tuesday and will continue to platoon with Anthony Gose during Bautista's absence.