CINCINNATI – The Cubs will have two players representing the team at this year’s Midsummer Classic as third baseman Kris Bryant and closer Craig Kimbrel were named National League All-Star reserves on Sunday.
Bryant, who will be making his fourth All-Star appearance, has had a bounceback season in 2021 and has led the Cubs offensively during the first half, slashing .272/.355/.511 with 16 homers and leads the team in hits, extra-base hits and doubles.
The Cubs’ third baseman has given the team a major boost with his versatility starting 43 games in the outfield, 23 games at third base and eight games at first base.
“It’s really cool to be recognized by your peers,” Bryant said. “I try to go out there every day and earn the respect of my opponents and my teammates. It definitely does feel really good when you hear that your peers are the ones that voted you in.”
Kimbrel’s return to dominance has been one of baseball’s best stories in 2021. Since September 2020, Kimbrel has been a force in the back of the Cubs’ bullpen and that success has carried over this season.
MLB’s active saves leader is 1-2 with a 0.59 ERA and 20 saves. Kimbrel has seen his velocity return to levels that made him one of the best closers of his generation. It’s the eighth All-Star selection and his first since 2018.
“I gotta thank all the guys that put me in position to get there,” Kimbrel said. “The relievers and starters who pitch before me to give me that opportunity to go in, throw innings that matter and get saves.”