This season, the Cincinnati Reds had just one player, relief pitcher Alexis Diaz selected to the All-Star Game.
Diaz has been, arguably, the best closer in the game. The right-hander has been manager David Bell's go-to guy late in games and has converted all but one save all year.
Diaz owns an impressive 2.13 ERA and a WHIP just north of 1.00, showing how truly unhittable the 26-year-old has been this season. Diaz's All-Star appearance is well deserved, and the Reds closer represents that first Cincinnati reliever to appear in the Midsummer Classic in nearly a decade.
Who was the last Reds reliever to be named to the All-Star team?
The last Cincinnati Reds reliever to make an appearances on the NL All-Star roster was the club's flame-throwing closer Aroldis Chapman. The left-hander was a four-time All Star while in with the Reds, with 2015 accounting for his final All-Star season with the Reds.
While Chapman, a lefty, was the last Reds relief pitcher to appear in the Midsummer Classic, Alexis Daiz will be the first right-handed Reds reliever to appear in an All-Star Game since Francisco Cordero in 2009.
With Diaz making the squad this season, that ends an eight-year drought of the Reds failing to send a bullpen arm to the All-Star Game. In 2015, Aroldis Chapman brought the entire stadium, and both dugouts, to their feet as he introduced the American League to his 103-mph fastball.
Chapman compiled a 1-2-3 ninth inning performance in front of his home crowd at Great American Ball Park, striking out the likes of Mark Teixeira, Mike Moustakas and Brock Holt without a hiccup.
Alexis Diaz, like Aroldis Chapman, relies mainly on a fastball/ slider combo. Diaz has a chance to surpass Chapman's 2015 save total (34), as he trails the southpaw by only nine. Diaz is 13 behind Chapman's highest save total as a member of the Cincinnati Reds which he posted in both 2012 and 2013.