The National League All-Star team was announced on Tuesday afternoon and Mark Melancon is the lone representative of the Pittsburgh Pirates. It is his third selection in the last four seasons. In 36 appearances this season, he has a 1.35 ERA in 33.1 innings, with 28 strikeouts, a 1.02 WHIP and 24 saves in 25 opportunities. Melancon ranks third in the NL in saves.
There are always replacement players announced prior to the All-Star game, so there is a chance someone like Starling Marte or Gregory Polanco could be named as a replacement. Marte is one of five players on the final vote ballot, which runs through Friday. The game takes place next Tuesday night in San Diego.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.