Once again, a Padres closer will be representing San Diego in an All-Star game.
They will also be sending just one player as well for the third straight year.
Closer Kirby Yates has been named as the Padres’ representative to the 2019 MLB All-Star Game in Cleveland. He joins Will Smith of the San Francisco Giants and Josh Hader of the Milwaukee Brewers as the relief pitchers of the NL team.
This is the third year in a year that the Padres will be sending a closer to the All-Star Game as they sent former closer Brad Hand to the 2017 and 2018 All-Star Games. From 2010-2019, the Padres have sent closers to the All-Star game in six of the nine years, with 2013 (Everth Cabrera), 2015 (Justin Upton), and 2016 (Wil Myers and Drew Pomeranz).
The league leader in saves, Yates has certainly earned the honor. In 34.1 innings pitched, Yates has gone 27-for-28 in save opportunities while racking up a 56:8 K: BB ratio. He also carries an incredibly low 1.31 ERA and 0.84 WHIP on the season while the 14.68 K/9 and 2.36 BB/9 he has posted in 2019 are both career highs. His success can largely be attributed to his split-finger that has gotten many a batter to swing and miss at a ball outside the strike zone as well as his precise control over the strike zone.
The @MLB saves leader is Cleveland bound.
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) June 30, 2019
While Yates is deserving of the honor, many are clamoring that some members of the Padres got snubbed. Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado are two of the players that many around the baseball world believe got snubbed of All-Star nominations. Even with Tatis’ game-changing play over the past month and Machado’s twenty home runs and .279/.355/.511 batting line, it still wasn’t enough to earn the two of them All-Star nods in a crowded National League Roster.
The All-Star Game will be played on Tuesday, July 9th. While it is slim, there is still a chance that boppers Hunter Renfroe and Franmil Reyes will be named to the Home Run Derby that will be played a day before, but that is still to be determined.