Christian Yelich was the No. 1 seed in the Home Run Derby but withdrew from the event because he is “not physically able” to participate in the event. Yelich detailed his reason for not participating on Twitter.
“Extremely disappointed to not be able to participate in the HR Derby tomorrow. Always been a dream but unfortunately things don’t always go your way and I’m not physically able. I’m sorry if anybody was let down but I hope to be apart of it again at some point in the future,” Yelich tweeted.
Yelich leads MLB in homers with 31 and will be replaced by Matt Chapman. ESPN reported that Yelich is still expected to play in the All-Star game and will lead off for the National League.
According to the Associated Press, Yelich is dealing with a “back issue” but still wants to play in the All-Star game. Why can Yelich play in the game but not participate in the Home Run Derby? Yelich noted that he did not believe his back could withstand the repeated motion that the Derby requires.
“I’d still like to try and play,” Yelich told the Associated Press. “I think I’ll be able to. It’s just I didn’t think I was going to be able do that kind of volume of swings and what the derby demanded. If I wasn’t going to be able to perform how I was supposed to and do it justice and give it the effort that it deserved, I didn’t think it’d be a great idea to do it.”
Prior to the Injury, Christian Yelich Noted the Home Run Derby Was Something He “Grew Up Watching”
Prior to withdrawing, Yelich appeared excited about participating in the Home Run Derby. Yelich noted he believed it was “something that would be fun” and added that he “grew up watching it on TV.”
“I’m going to do it,” Yelich said, per the Journal-Sentinel. “I thought it would be something that would be fun. I grew up watching it on TV. I feel like now is as good a time as any. We’ll see how it goes…They asked if I would do it. That was probably a few weeks ago. I told them as long as I was an all-star, I would do it. Obviously, if I feel healthy and everything before the game, then yeah.”
Yelich may be playing in the All-Star game, but it would be surprising if the outfielder ended up playing for an extended period of time. The Brewers are just a half-game back of the Cubs in the NL Central. The last thing Yelich or the Brewers want is to have him suffer a serious injury during an exhibition game.
Yelich Broke a Boat Window When He Was Practicing for the Home Run Derby
Yelich was practicing for the Home Run Derby at PNC Park and there was a casualty with a nearby boat window. Brewers reporter Sophia Minnaert reported the police were even called because of the incident.
“Christian Yelich did a practice round for the Home Run Derby at PNC Park today with former Marlins coach Pat Shine. He broke the window of a boat parked in the Allegheny River outside right field. Cops were called, Yelich was not arrested. ?,” Minnaert tweeted.