Acuña out for year, Machado in; Realmuto an All-Star starter
DENVER (AP) — Atlanta’s Ronald Acuña Jr., elected to start Tuesday’s All-Star Game as the NL’s top vote-getter among outfielders, tore the ACL in his right knee Saturday during Atlanta’s 5-4 win over the Miami Marlins and will miss the rest of the season.
Acuña landed awkwardly on his right leg after jumping on the warning track in right field to try to catch a drive from Jazz Chisholm Jr. in the fifth inning at Miami. The 23-year-old slammed into the outfield wall and crumbled on the warning track, immediately grabbing his right knee while Chisholm sprinted out an inside-the-park homer.
Acuña needs surgery and was replaced on the All-Star roster by third baseman Manny Machado.
Philadelphia’s J.T. Realmuto will take over for injured San Francisco catcher Buster Posey as the NL starter in Tuesday’s All-Star Game at Coors Field.
St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina earned his 10th All-Star selection, among 10 replacements announced Saturday by Major League Baseball, then said hours later he would also skip the All-Star Game. He was replaced by Milwaukee catcher Omar Narváez.
Molina was elected on the players’ ballot and filled the spot vacated when Posey was put on the injured list Friday, five days after his left thumb was bruised by a foul tip. Narváez will make his first All-Star appearance.
Major League Baseball also said Dodgers outfielder Mookie Betts was injured and won’t participate, though Betts played an entire nine innings Friday night and remained in the lineup Saturday.
“An All-Star Game is definitely an honor, especially being voted in by your peers, so I definitely don’t want to discount that honor. But I do understand that I do have some nagging things going on,” Betts said Saturday.
Asked what was nagging him, he said: “Just the same stuff. There is just no break in baseball.”
“This is the only time I can get a break of more than a day. I just want to use it to the best I can. I would love to be in an All-Star Game, but I think the goal is to win a World Series and this break will definitely help me to help us get to that point,” he said.
Kansas City second baseman Whit Merrifield and Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson also earned selections from the players’ ballot, replacing Houston second baseman José Altuve and shortstop Carlos Correa.
Altuve said he needed time off to deal with unspecified issues with his left leg, and Correa said he wanted to spend time with wife Daniella, who is pregnant with the couple’s first child.
Merrifield became a two-time All-Star. Anderson, the 2019 AL batting champion, earned his first All-Star trip.
New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom also said he was withdrawing from the All-Star Game, wanting to rest for the second half. DeGrom, who has a 1.08 ERA, was bothered in the first half by discomfort in his right lat muscle, tightness in his right side and flexor tendinitis in his right arm.
The commissioner’s office picked Washington’s Max Scherzer, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Walker Buehler, the Mets’ Taijuan Walker and Milwaukee’s Freddy Peralta as additions to the NL pitching staff. Mets manager Luis Rojas and Brewers manager Craig Counsell had said Friday their pitchers would be added.
Scherzer earned his eighth All-Star selection.
MLB also added Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner to the NL roster, and Oakland pitcher Chris Bassitt and Tampa Bay second baseman Joey Wendle to the AL roster.
Houston outfielder Michael Brantley and San Diego pitcher Yu Darvish are withdrawing becauce of injuries.
Cleveland pitcher Shane Bieber, Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout and Washington outfielder Kyle Schwarber were previously ruled out because of injuries.
San Francisco’s Kevin Gausman and Milwaukee’s Brandon Woodruff remain active for the game but are scheduled for starts for their teams on Sunday.
Houston reliever Ryan Pressly will miss the game because of paternity leave.
Anderson, Bassitt, Peralta, Walker and Wendle raise the total to 39 first-time All-Stars, matching 2013 for the high.
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