CLEVELAND — As much as Guardians closer Emmanuel Clase was looking forward to striking out the side in his second consecutive All-Star appearance, the hurler will now have to wait to see if he’ll be named to the Midsummer Classic in 2024 to get the chance.
The Guardians announced on Friday that Clase will be heading back to the Dominican Republic over the break to be with his significant other, who is expecting a baby. Angels right-hander Carlos Estévez will replace Clase on the roster.
“I don’t want to [get into the details]. It’s challenging,” Guardians manager Terry Francona said. “He needs to get back with her, which we fully respect and support.”
The Guardians were quick to explain that there was no medical reason that Clase would not be participating in the 2023 All-Star Game at T-Mobile Park. He has run into some hiccups over his last three appearances, giving up seven runs (six earned) over 2 1/3 innings. But that has no impact on his plans over the next few days.
Now, Clase’s focus turns to his family. He’ll remain with the Guardians through Sunday before returning home during the All-Star break. The 25-year-old righty was originally selected to his second All-Star Game on Sunday. At the time, he was tied for the most saves in the Majors (24) and owned the most appearances (41) of all other pitchers.
Estévez has 21 saves through Thursday for the Angels, with a 1.85 ERA in 35 games.
Third baseman José Ramírez will be the lone representative for Cleveland in Seattle, serving as a reserve in the All-Star Game.