Pirates slugger Josh Bell gets All-Star nod; Felipe Vazquez not included | TribLIVE.com
Pirates/MLB

Pirates slugger Josh Bell gets All-Star nod; Felipe Vazquez not included

Jerry DiPaola
1351013_web1_GTR-Bell01-060619
Christopher Horner | Tribune-Review
Pirates first baseman Josh Bell watches batting practice before a game against the Braves Wednesday, June 5, 2019, at PNC Park.

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.

Other Pirates with all-star credentials who weren’t chosen were rookies Bryan Reynolds and Kevin Newman.

Reynolds, an outfielder who started the season with Triple-A Indianapolis, is hitting .355, with an .967 OPS, but without enough at-bats to qualify for the batting title.

Newman has earned the Pirates’ every-day job at shortstop and is hitting. 327. He set a franchise modern-day rookie record by compiling an 19-game hitting streak that ended Sunday when he was hitless in four at-bats in the 2-1 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers.

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. He has an OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) of 1.004.

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.

In the American League, former Pirates first-round draft choice Austin Meadows, who was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays last year, was picked as a reserve outfielder.

Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jerry by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Sports | Pirates
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.