x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Hoffman gives up family fishing trip to line-up with the best

Trevor Hoffman was a late addition to the National League squad for the Major League All-Star game.

ST LOUIS // Trevor Hoffman was a late addition to the National League squad for the Major League All-Star game, joining Pittsburgh pitcher Zach Duke and Tampa Bay first baseman Carlos Pena as players picked Sunday to replace players unable to participate tonight. Hoffman, in his first season with the Milwaukee Brewers, will substitute for Los Angeles Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton, who has an injured toe.

"You relish the opportunity," Hoffman said. "You don't know how often these come along." The 41-year-old reliever said his sons - Brody, Quinn and Wyatt - did not mind dad's sudden change of All-Star break plans from fishing for three days in Wisconsin to a trip to St Louis. "My kids are really excited. They've gotten older and been to quite a few, but they're starting to understand the dynamics that are part of it," Hoffman added.

"It was a pretty easy sell.| Duke also was added to the NL staff. He replaces San Francisco starter Matt Cain, who took a line drive off his right arm on Saturday night. Pena takes the AL roster spot of Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia, elected by fans to start. His wife, Kelli, is seven months pregnant and has been in the hospital since last Monday with complications. "I am disappointed that I will not be able to enjoy the amazing experience with the other All-Stars, especially with my Red Sox teammates, but it is important that I put my family first at this time," Pedroia said.

The American League manager Joe Maddon of the Tampa Bay Rays said Toronto's Aaron Hill will start at second in place of Pedroia, last year's league MVP. The addition of Pena means Tampa Bay's entire infield is on the team, including third baseman Evan Longoria, shortstop Jason Bartlett and second baseman Ben Zobrist. The last club to put four infielders in the All-Star game was the 2002 New York Yankees, with first baseman Jason Giambi, second baseman Alfonso Soriano, shortstop Derek Jeter and third baseman Robin Ventura.

* AP