Seattle Mariners outfielder Nelson Cruz, the American League leader in home runs last season, declined an invitation to this year's Home Run Derby.
Cruz participated in the 2009 event and said he got “very tired.”
“I would love to do it,” Cruz said. “But at the same time, I have to think about my teammates and my team. If I go there it can wear me out for two or three days after. And that’s not fair to my teammates and it’s not fair for my team. That’s just the way it is.”
Cruz hit an AL-high 40 home runs in 2014 with the Baltimore Orioles and signed with the Mariners as free agent this winter. He has 19 homers this year, which is tied for 10th in the majors and tied for fourth in the AL. He currently leads AL All-Star voting at designated hitter.
MLB has altered the rules of this year's home run derby. The contest will now feature a bracket format with time rounds. Players will receive bonus time for hitting long home runs.
- Dan Gartland