Alvarez selected to replace CarGo in Home Run Derby
Pirates' third baseman joins NL squad after Rockies slugger drops out with finger injury
PITTSBURGH -- Looks like all the signs and rancor Pirates fans have worked up for the weekend over National League Home Run Derby captain David Wright's exclusion of Pedro Alvarez will go to waste.
Alvarez has been added to the NL foursome for Monday night's 2013 Chevrolet Home Run Derby as a replacement for Carlos Gonzalez, who has withdrawn due to a sprain of his right middle finger suffered earlier this week.
Alvarez, whose original omission despite ranking second in the NL with 23 homers -- one behind Gonzalez -- drew the ire of fans and puzzled teammates, thus will become the fifth Pittsburgh player to participate in the Derby.
And the Bronx native, a first-time All-Star, will get to do it in his hometown, in Citi Field.
Alvarez is the latest addition to the list of Pirates that includes Bobby Bonilla (1990), Barry Bonds ('92), Jason Bay (2005) and Andrew McCutchen ('12).
Wright, coming to town with the Mets for the weekend series against the Bucs that will close out first-half play, had been bracing for a rude welcome from PNC Park after he had filled out his Home Run Derby field with childhood buddy Michael Cuddyer, also of the Rockies, and Bryce Harper in addition to Gonzalez.
Nomar Garciaparra, the former All-Star infielder who will be involved in ESPN's coverage of the Home Run Derby, recently addressed the heat Wright could have expected from Pittsburgh faithful.
"But I think David Wright has thick skin, huge shoulders and is confident and he explained why he picked the guys he did," Garciaparra had said.
Explanations were replaced by deed on Thursday as, in the view of many, justice was served. Alvarez, coming into his own as an overall offensive threat, has totaled 45 home runs in his last 174 games since the middle of June of last season.
Fans can download the official MLB.com Home Run Derby Game, featuring 24 sluggers from the 2010-12 Home Run Derby events. Connect and challenge gamers on the worldwide leaderboards. Available for free on the Apple App Store.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.