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Pirates' Alvarez snubbed for HR Derby

| Monday, July 8, 2013, 6:48 p.m.
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez bats against the Athletics during the first inning Monday, July 8, 2013, at PNC Park.

Pedro Alvarez was left off the Home Run Derby roster announced Monday despite entering the evening's slate of games with the third-most home runs in the National League.

Alvarez has 22 home runs, trailing only Colorado's Carlos Gonzalez (24) and Philadelphia's Domonic Brown (23) in the NL. He was tied with Texas' Nelson Cruz for fifth in the majors.

National League team captain David Wright (13) of the Mets picked Gonzalez, Colorado's Michael Cuddyer (15) and Washington's Bryce Harper (13) to join him in the Derby.

The American League team includes New York's Robinson Cano (20), Detroit's Prince Fielder (15), major league leader Chris Davis (33) of Baltimore and one to be announced later.

“I'm just glad I get to go to the game and get to watch those guys drop some balls,” Alvarez said after the Pirates' 2-1 loss to the Athletics on Monday night. “I'm just glad I get to be part of that whole experience.”

Shortly following the announcement, teammate A.J. Burnett tweeted: “Will somebody explain to me how the hell Pedro (Alvarez) is not in the Homerun Derby? Does the National League not wanna win?”

Alvarez hit his first home run April 18 after going 14 games without one. According to ESPN's home run tracker, Alvarez has hit two home runs of more than 450 feet, three others more than 430 feet, and 14 of the 22 have been at least 400 feet. All but four would have been out at Citi Field.

“He's probably one of the most powerful guys in the league and can put on a show,” Garrett Jones said. “It's unfortunate he didn't get picked. I don't know if (Wright) just knows the other guys better, but Pedro definitely deserved it. He's got tons of power, and it would have been fun to see him in there competing. So I'm a little disappointed.”

Andrew McCutchen replaced the injured Giancarlo Stanton in the 2012 Home Run Derby and hit four home runs. He didn't make it out of the first round but still hit more home runs then the past three Pirates Derby contestants combined: Jason Bay in 2005 (0), Barry Bonds in 1992 (two) and Bobby Bonilla in 1990 (0).

At the time, McCutchen was tied for sixth in the National League with 16 home runs, all 16 coming after he went homerless the first 25 games of the season. He finished the season with a career-high 31 home runs.

“I am a little surprised (Wright didn't pick him), yes, because he's a guy that can hit home runs,” McCutchen said. “But there's nothing you can do about it. He's still going to be playing in an All-Star Game, so it's going to be pretty fun.”

Karen Price is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach her at kprice@tribweb.com or via Twitter @KarenPrice_Trib.

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