Pedro Alvarez will replace Carlos Gonzalez on the National League squad in the 2013 Home Run Derby, the MLB announced Thursday. The Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman was selected by NL team captain and New York Mets third baseman David Wright. Gonzalez was forced to withdraw from due to a sprained right middle finger.
Thanks to Gonzalez's late scratch, Alvarez will become the fifth Pirates player to ever take part in the derby, joining Bobby Bonilla (1990), Barry Bonds (1992), Jason Bay (1995) and Andrew McCutchen (2012). Alvarez has 23 home runs thus far on the season, putting him on pace to far exceed the career-high 30 homers he hit last season. His total puts him behind only Gonzalez for the NL lead.
The Home Run Derby will take place Monday evening at the Mets' Citi Field. Joining Wright and Alvarez on the NL squad will be Gonzalez's Colorado Rockies teammate, Michael Cuddyer, and Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper. The American League squad will consist of Robinson Cano of the New York Yankees, Chris Davis of the Baltimore Orioles, defending champion of the event Prince Fielder of the Detroit Tigers and Yoenis Cespedes of the Oakland A's.