Last year’s American League starting pitcher in MLB’s all-star game, Justin Verlander, will be unavailable for the 2013 edition of the star-studded event.
Verlander, 30, is slated to start for Detroit on July 14, therefore making him unable to participate in this year’s all-star game, Tigers manager Jim Leyland told reporters Sunday.
Leyland is also managing the AL side of the annual showcase scheduled for July 16 at New York’s Citi Field.
Rosters have yet to be named but Verlander is always in the conversation. In 15 appearances this year, the five-time all-star hasn’t been at his best (8-5 record with a 3.72 ERA).
Verlander was credited with the AL’s 2012 all-star game loss after giving up five runs on four hits in one inning of work.
D-BACKS’ HILL TO SEE ACTION THIS WEEK: REPORT
The Arizona Diamondbacks’ long wait for a healthy Aaron Hill appears to be over.
The former Toronto Blue Jays middle infielder will return to the lineup sometime this week, according to a Sunday report from the Arizona Republic.
Hill, 31, has played only 10 games in 2013 due to a broken left hand sustained April 14.
An exact date has not been set but the team says his first game back should be during the Diamondbacks’ three-game series versus the Washington Nationals, which runs Tuesday through Thursday.
Drafted 13th overall by the Blue Jays in 2003, Hill played eight seasons in Toronto from 2005-2011.
RIVERA: THANKS BUT NO THANKS, LEYLAND
If Jim Leyland extends his hand, Mariano Rivera won’t shake it -- at least under these circumstances.
Rivera, arguably the best closer in MLB history, told ESPN Sunday he would not accept an honourary starting pitching job in next month’s all-star game.
“I’ve been told about it, but I don’t like it,” he said. "And the reason why I say that is it's not what I do. What I do is close the games, I don't start the games.
“It's a privilege and honour, but I'm not contemplating it."
Amplified by social media, there was rampant speculation last week about Leyland potentially asking Rivera, 43, to take the mound in the first inning in the final all-star game of his career.
Many see it as a fitting salute to an all-time great. Rivera’s opinion differs, however.
"I think the right thing is to do it the way it (normally) is," said the 12-time all-star. "I don't want to start the game and give up 10 runs in the first inning. I'd rather pitch in the ninth than the first."
In 31 appearances this season, Rivera has 26 saves, which, going into Sunday action, put him in a three-way tie with Baltimore Orioles’ Jim Johnson and Pittsburgh Pirates’ Jason Grilli for tops in MLB.
Minnesota Twins placed pitcher Mike Pelfrey on the 15-day disabled list Sunday, retroactive to Wednesday, with a back strain … Washington Nationals placed pitcher Dan Haren on the 15-day disabled list Sunday, according to the Washington Post, due to hip and back issues … Boston Red Sox pitcher Clay Bucholz, originally scheduled to come off the disabled list Tuesday, will need more minor league rehab time, according to the Boston Herald.