The Upper Deck

Welcome to The Upper Deck, Baseball America’s daily look at the biggest stories around the game and some lighter fare.


At this point, what can’t Rafael Devers do? He crushed the Yankees on Sunday with a game-tying homer in the ninth against Aroldis Chapman, then homered twice more on Monday against the Indians. On Tuesday . . . oh, he just started a triple play. Devers’ defense is not what he’s known for–manager John Farrell called him solid average at third—but on Tuesday against St. Louis, he started a 5-4-3 triple play.


The Mets are out of playoff contention and have dropped the first two games of the Subway Series, but not without some bright spots. One of those came Tuesday as midseason No. 2 prospect Dominic Smith clubbed his first big league homer in the seventh off righthander Sonny Gray. Top prospect Amed Rosario hit his second homer off closer Aroldis Chapman in the ninth, but the Mets fell a run short.


As far as first big league homers go, Jorge Alfaro’s was more line drive than majestic, but was just as magical for him.


Giancarlo Stanton already has the Marlins’ single-season home run record. Now he’s chasing the consecutive-game home run mark. The Miami slugger homered for the sixth straight game Tuesday, a bomb off Giants ace Madison Bumgarner. The big league mark of eight games in a row is held by Don Mattingly (1987) and Ken Griffey Jr. (1993). Stanton has 23 homers in his past 35 games; according to the Elias Sports Bureau, only Sammy Sosa (1998) and Barry Bonds (2001) had more in a 35-game span.


Arizona coach Jay Johnson, who led the Wildcats within a whisker of winning a national championship in 2016 and back to regionals this season, got a five-year extension and a big raise Tuesday. Johnson, 40, is now signed through 2022, and will earn $500,000 annually, a raise of $165,000. Johnson has compiled an 87-45 record in two seasons.


For some reason, Joey Votto is determined to throw a ball out of Wrigley Field. Don’t let it go, Joe.


Ben Badler explains why MLB teams are shifting their focus to players younger than ever in Latin America.