Yelich on All-Star Game: 'Yeah, I'm going to play'

July 8th, 2019

Christian Yelich was bummed to bow out of the T-Mobile Home Run Derby because of back spasms, but said unequivocally on Monday that he’s a go for the All-Star Game itself.

“Yeah, I’m going to play,” said Yelich during All-Star Game media day.

That declaration came about an hour after NL manager Dave Roberts of the Dodgers posted a lineup for Tuesday’s Midsummer Classic with Yelich leading off and playing left field. Yelich batted first 19 times during his first season with the Brewers in 2018, but this will be his first time hitting leadoff in 2019.

He set a Brewers record with 31 home runs before the All-Star break despite missing a handful of games with minor back issues. When it flared up during Saturday’s loss to the Pirates, Yelich said he agonized over having to withdraw from the Home Run Derby. He ultimately did so on Sunday.

“I wasn’t able to do the Derby just because the volume of swings that it was going to take,” Yelich said. “I just didn’t think that is was going to be great for where I was at physically, and just didn’t know if I was going to actually make it through it, and wasn’t going to be able to give it the effort that it deserves.

“Like, I said, I’m very disappointed that I wasn’t able to do it or participate in it. Hopefully, I’ll get another opportunity to do it in the future, and we can do it then.”