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Even after historic home run onslaught, Nationals' Kyle Schwarber will pass on Home Run Derby and 'rest'

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Washington Nationals slugger Kyle Schwarber said he won't participate in the Home Run Derby in Denver next month, citing the toll the slugfest puts on a player's body.

"I think the best thing to do is probably let it pass and rest up and look forward to the second half," Schwarber told reporters after the Nationals' 4-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays. "The biggest thing is you're going to get sore, after the fact. You're taking almost 13-15 minutes of full swings. You never do that in a day (of) your daily routine in baseball. That's just torturing yourself. It's definitely taxing on the body."

Schwarber is having a banner month. He blasted his 16th home run of June on Tuesday, making it 16 homers in the last 18 games. That ties him with Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa for most all-time in that timeframe. He's also tied for the National League lead with Fernando Tatis Jr. for 25 home runs, while Shohei Ohtani leads the American League and majors with 28.

Nationals outfielder Kyle Schwarber circles the bases after his leadoff home run against the Marlins on Thursday.
Nationals outfielder Kyle Schwarber circles the bases after his leadoff home run against the Marlins on Thursday.

The 28-year-old Schwarber placed second in the 2018 Derby, losing to Bryce Harper in a memorable showdown. Schwarber said that experience sufficed for his career résumé but that he'd encourage all newcomers to give it a try.

"It was a phenomenal Home Run Derby with Bryce, in the finals," Schwarber said. "It was definitely a moment you're not going to forget. You kind of check that off your bucket list.

"I think it's a great experience and the people that are in it, and especially for the first time, they're going to love it. It's going to be something they never forget."

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Nationals' Kyle Schwarber says he'll pass on Home Run Derby