Major League Baseball on Tuesday announced injury replacements for a trio of big stars who will not be able to play in next week’s All-Star Game.
Three-time MVP Mike Trout (broken hamate bone) of the Angels and reigning MVP Aaron Judge (toe) of the Yankees are out for the American League side after earning starting nods. The National League will be missing Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw, a starting candidate who will be unable to go at all due to a sore shoulder.
In their places step the Astros’ Kyle Tucker, the Rays’ Wander Franco and the Pirates’ David Bednar, respectively. Two other replacements named Tuesday are sure to please the hometown fans who will be on hand for the game in Seattle: the Mariners’ own Julio Rodriguez and George Kirby.
Here’s a look at the replacements’ 2023 season to date and why they were called upon to take part in the All-Star Game.
All stats entering play Tuesday
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Kyle Tucker: Replacing Mike Trout
Tucker becomes an All-Star for the second consecutive year. Currently batting a career-high .295, which leads the Astros, and is second on the team with a career-best .370 on-base percentage. The 26-year-old outfielder also leads the Astros in hits (89), has hit 13 home runs (second on team) and has 55 RBI (tied for team lead).
Wander Franco: Replacing Aaron Judge
The Rays’ 22-year-old star earns his first All-Star nod, after being one of the notable snubs. Franco leads the Rays in hits with 90 — including 21 doubles and four triples — as well as stolen bases (26). The shortstop is batting .283 with a .343 on-base percentage.
David Bednar: Replacing Clayton Kershaw
The 28-year-old Pirates reliever is now All-Star bound for the second consecutive year. Bednar has 16 saves and a 1.44 ERA and impressively has struck out 37 in 31 1/3 innings while issuing just four walks.
Julio Rodriguez: Replacing Yordan Alvarez
The 2022 Rookie of the Year is an All-Star for the second time in as many seasons, stepping in for the Astros’ slugger. Rodriguez’s numbers are down across the board compared to his brilliant rookie year (.246/.309/.414 slash line after going .284/.345/.509 last season), but the 22-year-old Mariners outfielder with 83 hits and 13 home runs will bring energy and likely draw the loudest cheers of the night.
George Kirby: Replacing Shane McClanahan
The Mariners’ Kirby steps in for McClanahan, the Rays’ ace who leads baseball with an 11-1 record. Kirby, though, brings strong numbers into his first All-Star Game. He’s gone 7-7, but the 25-year-old sports a 3.21 ERA and one of the best strikeout-to-walk ratios in the game (86-9).