NEW YORK — Pittsburgh pitcher Mark Melancon was picked as a replacement for the NL All-Star team Sunday, giving the Pirates five players in the game for the first time since 1972.
NL manager Bruce Bochy also selected Sergio Romo, his San Francisco Giants closer, as a replacement pick Sunday along with Atlanta catcher Brian McCann. Pirates pitcher Jeff Locke, Washington Nationals right-hander Jordan Zimmermann and Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman, all on the original NL All-Star roster, are hurt and will miss Tuesday night’s game at Citi Field.
Baltimore pitcher Chris Tillman, Kansas City closer Greg Holland and Oakland closer Grant Balfour were chosen by AL manager Jim Leyland of Detroit to replace Tigers ace Justin Verlander, Seattle’s Hisashi Iwakuma and Oakland’s Bartolo Colon, who all started Sunday. Under baseball’s labor contract, pitchers who start on the Sunday before the All-Star game may opt not to participate. Verlander was the AL starter and loser of last year’s All-Star game at Kansas City.
The other Pirates on the NL roster are third baseman Pedro Alvarez, center fielder Andrew McCutchen and closer Jason Grilli. In 1972, the defending World Series champions had Roberto Clemente, Willie Stargell, Steve Blass, Al Oliver and Manny Sanguillen at the All-Star game in Atlanta.
Kansas City has three All-Stars for the first time since George Brett, Mark Gubicza and Kurt Stillwell in 1988.
There are a record 38 first-time All-Stars following the additions of Melancon, Romo, Tillman, Holland and Balfour, three more than the previous mark set two years ago in Arizona.
Holland and Balfour both earned $50,000 bonuses, Romo and Tillman $25,000 each and Melancon $10,000.