Phil Rogers joined MLB.com in 2013, and has covered Major League Baseball since 1984.
|Jeff Samardzija isn't quite baseball's version of "Where's Waldo," but the guy gets around. That trend isn't likely to stop now, not with the White Sox making a 9-2 stretch before the All-Star break look more like an outlier than a contender finding its stride.
More» Shark gets popup to cap seven solid innings|
|Randal Grichuk is just getting started. But the 23-year-old Cardinals outfielder has shot up the charts in a surprising category that suggests he is headed toward being one of the most productive hitters in the game.
More» Grichuk belts two home runs|
|As disappointed as Cubs pitcher Jon Lester was about an inconsistent performance in the first half of the season, he knew he didn't need an overhaul over the All-Star break. "I'm not really worried about it," Lester said before adjourning last weekend with a 4-8 record and 3.59 ERA in 18 starts.
More» Lester carries no-no into the 8th|
|Kansas City didn't abandon hope at the break last season, keeping their stars, and they went on a tear to make it all the way to the World Series. Chicago has an opportunity to follow that same route if it holds on to its outstanding pitching staff that is built for the postseason.
More» Sale sparkles over seven-plus frames|
|Go ahead, Royals fans. Take that last laugh. You've earned it. You too, Ned Yost. Turns out the American League All-Star team was just fine loaded with Kansas City Royals, not to mention the rest of that specialized talent that Yost picked to try to preserve home-field advantage for the AL.
More»Yost discusses American League's win on MLB Tonight|
|Two days removed from throwing his first 100-mph fastball, Chris Sale wasn't about to bring any more heat. As the American League's strikeout leader and the hottest pitcher in the game, the White Sox ace seemed a great candidate to be the AL's starting pitcher in the All-Star Game.
More»Sale discusses All-Star selection, great first half|
|This is what we know about the American League as the season hits the midway point: The Royals are, by far, the best team. The Mariners and the A's probably aren't as good as they hoped they'd be when they left Arizona. The other 12 teams will have their fate decided by how they play after the All-Star break.
More»MLB Central guys discuss what to do with Samardzija|
|Chris Sale, only 26 and getting better, has become the starting pitcher who batters most hate to face. It would be fitting if he was the AL starter in a prelude to his role model, Johnson, being inducted into the Hall of Fame later this month
More» Sale sparkles over seven-plus frames|
|Little is better in Major League Baseball when two teams from the same city play each other, with the ballpark packed with fans who care about the outcome as much as they would if the game was played in October.
More» Sanchez makes nice diving catch to end game|
|The 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote is underway to determine the last spot on the American League and National League rosters and, as usual, there are some very difficult choices on the ballots.
More» Cueto dominates Nats in Final Vote push|
|On the South Side, Chris Sale took care of business. And further north, at just about the same time that the White Sox were stepping up to back Sale, business took care of Jon Lester.
More» Lester takes no-hit bid into 7th|
|Here's one man's attempt to handicap the NL reserves.
More» Burnett goes seven strong to earn the win|
|Not all days are created equal. For Lorenzo Elion III, who heads into his senior season at Simeon Career Academy, one of the biggest came along six years ago, when he was 11. It was his tryout for a spot in the White Sox Amateur City Elite baseball program, which seemed like a long shot. After all, he had started playing baseball only within the last year.
More»White Sox ACE Equipment Day|
|MLB.com's Phil Rogers offers last-minute voting advice with just a few days left in All-Star Game balloting.
More»Orbit channels Uncle Sam, says 'Vote for Altuve'|
|Mark McGwire didn't know what to expect when Justin Turner showed up at the Dodgers' complex in Arizona two years ago. He was a non-roster invitee with a .260 career average looking to earn a utility spot on a crowded roster.
More»DeRosa on Turner's strong 2015 season with Dodgers|
|Can you picture Chris Sale in a Cubs jersey, attacking the Cardinals and Pirates in September? How about the Dodgers or Nationals in October?
More» Dominant Sale strikes out 14, ties ML record|
|Rays right-hander Chris Archer is second in the American League in ERA, third in strikeouts but first in the category we call PWMM -- Pitcher Who Matters Most.
More» Archer holds steady for seven-plus innings|
|Jeff Banister's Rangers arrived in Chicago on Friday to play the White Sox, following the Pirates into U.S. Cellular Field. That gave Bucs skipper Clint Hurdle a chance to play out one of baseball's oldest traditions, leaving something in the desk in the visiting manager's office for the next occupant to find.
More» Banister on Lewis, Moreland in 2-1 win|
|Yes, you could see it coming. Kris Bryant was the best hitter in Arizona. The Astros' collection of young talent was the talk of Florida.
More»MLB Now crew discusses young talent around the league|
|Like the Cy Young Award winner, there's a PWMM every year, in both leagues. Sometimes it is the same guy, but more often than not, it isn't. The Cy Young Award, after all, is designed to go to the best pitcher, and the best pitcher is not always going to be the Pitcher Who Matters Most.
More» Cole throws seven strong innings vs. Braves|