NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Pedro Alvarez of the Pittsburgh Pirates has replaced Carlos Gonzalez of the Colorado Rockies for the NL team in the All-Star Home Run Derby.
Major League Baseball said Thursday that Gonzalez has pulled out because of a sprained middle finger on his right hand.
Alvarez has hit 23 homers this season. Gonzalez began the day with 24.
Alvarez will join derby captain David Wright, Bryce Harper and Michael Cuddyer on the NL side for the event Monday night, a day before the All-Star game at Citi Field. Chris Davis, Yoenis Cespedes and reigning Derby champion Prince Fielder will represent the AL along with captain Robinson Cano.
Wright found himself on the receiving end of backlash from fans, players and broadcasters in Pittsburgh for leaving Alvarez off his derby team.
“Unfortunately I just didn’t have enough picks,” Wright said. “(Alvarez) was toward the top of my list, I just didn’t have quite enough room. He’s having a great year, he’s always been nice to me so I root for him. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. If I pick him then people aren’t happy somewhere else. It’s a lot of pressure making those picks and there’s a lot of people that would like to see Pedro there too. I just didn’t have enough spots.”
The Mets start a weekend series at Pittsburgh on Friday night.
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