Nelson Cruz, currently tied for second in the American League in home runs with 27, won’t be representing the AL in this year’s Home Run Derby, he revealed on MLB Network Radio.
“Yeah, [Jose Bautista] called me, and I said no,” Cruz said. “What I believe is that I need to focus on what’s important for the team. […] I have to think about my teammates and the situation, where we’re at. And I think the best thing for me and my teammates is to just stay back and watch it from the side.”
Cruz, who finished second to Prince Fielder in the 2009 Home Run Derby, told MLB Network Radio that the possibility of fatigue played into his decision to sit the 2014 Derby out.
It can get to you. You don’t realize it, maybe one or two games, it can get you tired. And one or two games may be enough to make the playoffs. And I don’t wanna be caught up in that situation because we miss the playoffs by one or two games.
Cruz joins Mike Trout and Miguel Cabrera as sluggers who won’t be participating in the July 14th festivities at Target Field.