On Sunday, it was announced that Pittsburgh Pirates middle reliever Mark Melancon will replace teammate Jeff Locke in Tuesday's Midsummer Classic. He will be the fifth player in University of Arizona history to make an All-Star Game, joining Trevor Hoffman, Hank Leiber, Scott Erickson, and Kenny Lofton.
Melancon has been exceptional for the Pirates this year, posting an ERA of 0.81 in 45 appearances, and recording 25 holds.
Out of Golden, CO, Melancon played at the U of A from 2004-2006. In 2004, he set a single-season record for games pitched by a freshman with 29, but that has since been passed by Nick Cunningham in 2010 when he appeared in 35 games. In '04, Melancon appeared in five postseason games, posted a 2-0 record and saved two games.
After that 2004 season, he pitched for the USA National Team, appeared in ten games and converted five save opportunities.
2005 was Melancon's best year in Tucson. He set what was a school-record by getting 11 saves. Jason Stoffel recorded 13 in 2008 to eclipse that mark. Melancon appeared in 34 of the team's 60 games that year.
In 2006, he set the then-school-record for career saves by finishing up with 18 total (Stoffel has 29). He didn't finish that year though as he was diagnosed with an elbow strain, and was shut down in early April. He didn't require surgery though, and was drafted in the 9th round of the 2006 draft by the Yankees. He eventually made his MLB debut with the club on April 26, 2009.
Pretty cool that he's only the fifth Wildcat to ever make it to the MLB All-Star Game. Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle has already talked to Bruce Bochy about using Melancon Tuesday, so hopefully he'll be out on the mound sometime in the middle of the game.