Milwaukee Brewers' Christian Yelich drops out of 2019 MLB Home Run Derby

July 7 (UPI) — Milwaukee Brewers star outfielder Christian Yelich won’t participate in the 2019 MLB Home Run Derby.

The league announced Sunday that Yelich pulled out of the contest due to a back injury. Oakland Athletics third baseman Matt Chapman will replace him.

Yelich, the reigning National League MVP, leads the league with 31 home runs this season. He sat out of the Brewers’ matchup against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday.

“Just looking at him, I felt like we were at the red line with him, so to speak, and that a day here, he needs it,” Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell told reporters. “It’s important that we don’t get past that red line. So that’s where we’re at.”

It remains unclear whether Yelich will participate in Tuesday night’s All-Star Game at Progressive Field in Cleveland.

Chapman, who was named to his first All-Star Game this year, has 21 home runs this season. He will face Toronto Blue Jays rookie Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in the first round of the Home Run Derby.

The 35th annual Home Run Derby begins Monday night at 8 p.m. EDT at Progressive Field in Cleveland.

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