Diaz will be lone All-Star for Reds

Closer ranks second in NL in saves

Credit: David Jablonski

Credit: David Jablonski

CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati Reds might have more All-Stars if the season had started in June when they got hot with rookies such as Matt McLain, Spencer Steer, Elly De La Cruz and Andrew Abbott leading the way. As it is, closer Alexis Diaz will be the team’s only representative at the 93rd Midsummer Classic on July 11 at T-Mobile Park in Seattle.

Diaz, 26, earned his 23rd save of the season Sunday in a 4-3 victory against the San Diego Padres. He has a 2.19 ERA in 38 appearances.

“I feel excited,” said Diaz through interpreter Tomas Vera, who is also going to the All-Star Game in Seattle as one of the trainers for the National League team. “It’s an honor to be selected to the All-Star Game. It’s a grand thing for a baseball player.”

Díaz ranks second in the National League in saves. He’s one behind Camilo Doval, of the San Francisco Giants.

This is the second year in a row the Reds have had one All-Star. Starter Luis Castillo made the team in 2022. Diaz is the first Reds reliever to make the team since Aroldis Chapman in 2015.

“It’s all because of this team that I’ve been able to have the success that I’ve had,” Diaz said. “They’ve given me the confidence to go out there in the ninth and pitch well. I’ve also gained a lot of confidence in myself. I’ve been able to control my emotions when I’m on the mound.”

Diaz is the second member of his family to make the All-Star team. His older brother Edwin Diaz, who now pitches for the New York Mets, was an All-Star with the Seattle Mariners in 2014.

“When they gave me the news. I called him right after,” Alexis said. “He was super excited for me and super happy with what I’ve been able to accomplish this year.”

The honor comes in Diaz’s second season in the big leagues. He signed with the Reds in 2015 at 18 and rose slowly but steadily through the system before reaching the big leagues last season when he was 7-3 with a 1.84 ERA and 10 saves in 59 games.

“What an incredible representative for the Cincinnati Reds, not only in the way he’s pitched but the way he goes about it every single day,” Reds manager David Bell said. “He’s an incredible teammate. Probably the most impressive thing about Alexis is he had a good season as a rookie and he was not the least bit satisfied. He found ways to get better in his second season. He has been better to this point in the year than last year. That says a lot. That doesn’t always happen. And it just says so much about his professionalism and how he sees his craft and how important it is for him and his career to get better.”

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