Pirates slugger Josh Bell gets All-Star nod; Felipe Vazquez not included
Josh Bell was named to his first All-Star Game as a reserve first baseman Sunday, but Felipe Vazquez, one of the National League’s most effective relievers, was not included on the list of pitchers initially named to the team.
That could change, however, if an injury opens up a spot on the roster.
“There is a week to go (before the game July 9 at Progressive Field in Cleveland),” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “I told him to keep his bags packed.”
Vazquez has 19 saves in 20 opportunities, a 2-0 record and third-best ERA among National League closers (1.80).
Vazquez might have been a victim of the MLB rule that mandates each team must have at least one player chosen. Relief pitcher Will Smith, who has 21 saves in 21 opportunities, a 1-0 record and 2.16 ERA, was named to the team as the San Francisco Giants’ lone representataive.
Bell was an easy selection as a reserve after players’ votes were counted.
He leads the majors with 70 RBIs and his 22 home runs place him seventh in the National League.
Bell, the first Pirates first baseman to be named to the All-Star team since Jason Thompson in 1982, also was chosen to participate in the Home Run Derby the night before the All-Star Game.
Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jerry by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .