San Diego Padre relief pitcher Kirby Yates shall be Cleveland-bound in a week, as he was named to the National League squad for the All-Star Game.
Fans and observers grumbled on social media over Yates being the only Padre representative on the team for the July 9 game. They argued the cases of free-agent acquisition Manny Machado, rookie sensation Fernando Tatis Jr. and slugger Hunter Renfroe.
Yates, 32, it shall be, however. He leads the Major Leagues with 27 saves, over Los Angeles Dodger Kenley Jansen and New York Yankee Aroldis Chapman. They both have 23 saves. Yates also received Reliever of the Month honors for April.
Yates, a former Yankee, Tampa Bay Ray and Los Angeles Angel, has given up 7 runs in 35 appearances and has a 1.27 ERA this season. This month, USA Today labeled him “the best MLB closer you’ve never heard of.”
Baseball officials named the reserves for the All-Star Game Sunday. The list included former Padre Yasmani Grandal, now a Milwaukee Brewer, at catcher.
The starters were set Friday – no Padres made that list. They still have a chance, though at the Home Run Derby. MLB will announce those participants Wednesday.
– Staff reports