Chap­man de­cides to rest sore knee, won’t pitch in All-Star Game

Tampa Bay Times - - Rays Report - Times wires

Yan­kees closer Aroldis Chap­man won’t pitch in Tues­day’s All-Star Game in Wash­ing­ton in or­der to rest his sore left knee.

Chap­man earned his 25th save Thurs­day against the In­di­ans in his first ap­pear­ance since Satur­day, when he was re­moved from a game af­ter fac­ing one bat­ter be­cause of dis­com­fort in the knee.

Chap­man, who has made the All-Star team five times, is 2-0 with a 1.38 ERA in 40 ap­pear­ances. He has struck out 67 in 39 in­nings and held op­po­nents to a .129 bat­ting av­er­age.

“I’m try­ing to put to­gether a cou­ple of days where I don’t do any base­ball ac­tiv­ity, just let the knee get bet­ter,” Chap­man said through a trans­la­tor.

Yan­kees man­ager Aaron Boone said Chap­man is avail­able top­itchinthe­finalthree­games of the series that ends Sun­day. Boone thinks giv­ing him time to rest the knee will be ben­e­fi­cial.

The left-han­der has blown only one save this sea­son and con­verted 11 of 12 save chances in June.

New York’s bullpen has a 2.68 ERA—thebestintheAL.Adam War­ren, David Robert­son, Dellin Be­tances and Chap­man com­bined to hold the In­di­ans hit­less over the fi­nal four in­nings in Thurs­day’s 7-4 win.

“It’s an honor to be se­lected to an All-Star Game, your peers vote for you, man­agers, fans and all that,” he said. “But at the end of the day, I think it’s a smart de­ci­sion for me to help me re­cover and get ready for the sec­ond half.”

Chap­man joined In­di­ans RHP Corey Klu­ber as AL All­Stars hav­ing to miss the game. Klu­ber had an in­jec­tion in his right knee and will be out at least one week. Rays LHP Blake Snell and Astros RHP Char­lie Mor­ton were added to the AL squad. Mor­ton’s ad­di­tion gives the Astros a ma­jor league-lead­ing six play­ers in the game.

Ut­ley: This is last year

Chase Ut­ley is re­tir­ing at the end of the sea­son, cap­ping a 16-year ca­reer that in­cluded a World Series cham­pi­onship with the Phillies and an el­der states­man role with the Dodgers.

The six-time All-Star said he’s leav­ing to spend more time with his wife and two young sons: “I’m ready to be a full-time dad.”

Ut­ley an­nounced his de­ci­sion at Dodger Sta­dium, with sev­eral team­mates sur­pris­ing him in at­ten­dance. “I just want you guys to know that I’ve signed a five-year ex­ten­sion,” Ut­ley dead­panned, draw­ing laugh­ter from man­ager Dave Roberts and team­mates. The 2019 sea­son would have been the fi­nal year of a $2 mil­lion, twoyear con­tract for Ut­ley.

The 39-year-old sec­ond base­man made his name with the Phillies, earn­ing five All-Star berths, win­ning four Sil­ver Slug­ger awards and help­ing them to a World Series ti­tle in 2008 against the Rays. Ut­ley has a .276 ca­reer av­er­age with 259 homers. He’s renowned for his base-steal­ing abil­ity, with 153 in 175 at­tempts.

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