Welcome to The Upper Deck, Baseball America’s daily look at the biggest stories around the game and some lighter fare. If you have videos, GIFs, photos or stories you want us to know about and feature in this space, hit me up on Twitter at @vincelara or email me here.
METS PITCHER ATTACKED
Thank you to everybody who has reached out to me to check on me, it has meant a lot and I'll be back out there soon.
— Logan Taylor (@Loganreese36) July 4, 2017
Mets righthander Logan Taylor, pitching for Triple-A Las Vegas, is recovering after being attacked by a homeless man in Salt Lake City Saturday morning. Taylor, 25, sustained a concussion and needed staples in his head, Salt Lake City police said, after being hit with a tire iron and a sock full of rocks by Joshua Cruz, who accosted the pitcher and demanded his wallet.
Taylor was placed on the disabled list after needing six or seven staples in the back of his head, Vegas manager Pedro Lopez told the Las Vegas Review Journal. The newspaper reported that Cruz was arrested on charges of aggravated robbery and failure to stop at the command of law enforcement.
In a statement, the Mets said, “It’s in the hands of the police now and we can’t comment further.”
Taylor, an 11th-round pick in 2012 from Eastern Oklahoma State JC, is 1-1, 3.96 at Triple-A after beginning the year at Double-A.
BASEBALL IN LONDON
— BST Hyde Park (@BSTHydePark) July 4, 2017
London’s Hyde Park was transformed into a ballfield for a day as some former big leaguers put on a home run derby. The event, part of MLB’s plan to showcase the game to build interest in Britain and Europe, featured Shawn Green, Carlos Pena and Cliff Floyd taking part against some of Britain’s cricket players to see who could hit balls the farthest in the makeshift field.
The teams were split into Dodgers and Red Sox, with those teams chosen for their iconic brands and uniforms. Cricket players Jos Buttler and Alex Hales were among those who took part.
Charlie Hill, the managing director of MLB for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, says it’s possible that some regular season games will be played in London as soon as the 2019 season.
”The teams are enthusiastic,” he told The Associated Press. ”That is the target and it’s becoming the expectation.”
Hill said a home run derby was chosen because the rules were easy to understand for British fans not familiar with baseball’s rather at-times arcane rules.
PACKS A PUNCH
Anthony Cheky has been released by the Gary Southshore Railcats over the incident. He faces assault charges. https://t.co/CkPeEx7B0X
— WTHR.com (@WTHRcom) July 5, 2017
An independent league player was charged with third-degree assault after he allegedly punched a wedding guest at a St. Paul hotel where his team was staying.
Anthony Cheky, 24, who plays for Gary of the American Association, was in town with his team to play the St. Paul Saints.
According to a criminal complaint, the 27-year-old victim told police that he was a attending a wedding when a “man whom he did not know walked up and punched him in the face.” A hotel employee corroborated the man’s account, as did a wedding guest and a hotel surveillance video, police said.
Cheky declined to make a statement to police. He was released by his team, despite hitting .354.
“Off the field is sometimes more important than on the field for us,” general manager Brian Lyter told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “We don’t have any tolerance for that kind of action. He is not going to wear the RailCats uniform any longer.”
The 6-foot, 185-pound Cheky, who attended Michigan State, had his first court hearing Monday and was released on bond. His next hearing is scheduled for Aug. 16.
PAT ON THE BACK
BA never takes a holiday. On Tuesday, Hudson Belinsky had the story of the White Sox’s Amateur City Elite program churning out top talent. Justin Perline showed just how Carter Stewart gets so much spin on his curveball. And Ben Badler had more signings from the July 2 international market.