Bryce Harper Opts Out Of Home Run Derby After Told Dad Can’t Pitch

First, it was Giancarlo Stanton. Now, it’s Bryce Harper.

The 2015 Home Run Derby will be without another of Major League Baseball’s best home run hitters after Washington Nationals star Bryce Harper said he won’t be participating. The 22-year-old outfielder told reporters Monday he made the decision because his father is recovering from a rotator cuff injury and won’t be able to pitch.

“Not having dad is a huge issue for me,” Harper said, per Comcast SportNet’s Mark Zuckerman.

Harper’s 25 home runs this season are good for second in the league, tied with Cincinnati Reds third baseman Todd Frazier and Los Angeles Angels first baseman Albert Pujols. Stanton, the MLB’s leader with 27, isn’t participating in the event, either, after breaking a bone in his left hand.

Detroit Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera will also miss the event due to injury after going on the DL with a calf strain that will keep him out until August.

The list of participants in the Derby hasn’t been announced, but the MLB did unveil a new format for the contest. That in itself will make the contest interesting, but it certainly will be missing a little pop without Harper and Stanton.

Thumbnail photo via Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports Images

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