WASHINGTON – Brad Hand wore a wide grin despite going on little sleep. The Padres closer — and Chaska High product — flew in from San Diego on Sunday night after a game against the Cubs and arrived the hotel around 3:30 a.m. He was on a private plane that took off minutes after the Cubs plane — carrying Jon Lester, Wilson Contreras and Javier Baez — departed.
This is Hand’s second All-Star Game in a row, getting to pitch a perfect inning in his old ballpark in Miami last year. A second-round pick by the Marlins in 2008, Hand was waived in 2016 and claimed by the Padres, and the lefthander has prospered in three seasons in San Diego.
He has a group of 16 friends and family members who will be at Tuesday’s game.
“A few Minneapolis and a few Iowa people,” Hand said. “It’s been nice. Pretty cool.”
Hand is 2-4 with a 3.05 ERA and has saved 24 games for the Padres. He could be a hot commodity before the trade deadline.