TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE PARK
The Kansas City Royals are off, and several of them already have big plans for their day away from Kauffman Stadium — they're going to watch the eclipse. Manager Ned Yost says he has the special glasses to see it, along with the app for his iPad to track the phenomenon. Pitcher Jason Hammel is going to watch from his backyard in the suburb of Overland Park, Kansas, where he says "there's something like 99.2 percent totality. That's good enough for me. I can deal with missing the 0.8 percent." Reliever Peter Moylan has a friend from back home in Australia flying to the United States and they're going to watch it at another buddy's farm.
No big league games will be going when the eclipse occurs, although some teams might be limbering up on the field or taking early batting practice.
EASY DOES IT
Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz says he wants to play the outfield when Seattle opens an interleague series at Atlanta. But Cruz, who leads the AL with 100 RBIs and is batting .294 with 31 home runs, might be limited to pinch hitting. Manager Scott Servais says he doesn't want to risk Cruz getting hurt with the Mariners challenging for a playoff spot. "I'm not saying he couldn't show up out there, but right now the plan is to be available to pinch hit off the bench," Servais said. "I say that now. Things could change by Wednesday, but I think we've got to be smart."
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw is expected to pitch a three-inning simulated game before Los Angeles plays at Pittsburgh. The lefty has been on the disabled list since July 24 because of a lower back strain. Kershaw is 15-2 with a 2.04 ERA for the team with the best record in the majors.
Mets right-hander Matt Harvey will start for Double-A Binghamton as he works back from a shoulder problem that's kept him out since June. The 28-year-old former ace has made two starts for Single-A Brooklyn, totaling four innings. Harvey was 4-3 with a 5.25 ERA in 13 starts before his setback.