On Monday, Major League Baseball filled out the list of players for this year’s All-Star Game in Cincinnati, announcing the reserves and pitchers chosen by players and the respective managers.
The roster excluded one name far more famous than the others: Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez, batting .284 with 16 home runs and 47 RBI. AL manager Ned Yost defended his decision to leave A-Rod off the roster, asserting, “We spent a lot of time debating his name. We felt we were covered in the DH…. We wanted to get Alex Rodriguez on there and couldn’t.”
Other prominent players left off the rosters include last year’s Cy Young winner Corey Kluber, as well as Joey Votto, Justin Turner, Jake Arrieta, A.J Ramos, and Clay Bucholtz.
The Kansas City Royals dominate the AL roster, with six Royals gaining slots. Wade Davis and Kelvin Herrera were named to the pitching staff to join Salvador Perez, Lorenzo Cain, Alex Gordon, and Alcides Escobar. The Royals may increase their dominance if Mike Moustakas is selected for the final slot with the Final Vote from fans. He competes with Xander Bogaerts, Yoenis Cespedes, Brian Dozier, and Brett Gardner. The Royals at one point had eight of their players leading the balloting as prospective starters. The Final Vote concludes on Friday.
The St. Louis Cardinals lead the National League, with five representatives. The Los Angeles Dodgers trail just behind with four players on the roster. The Cardinals could add a sixth in the Final Vote if fans select Carlos Martinez. The Dodgers could tie the Cardinals with five if fans pick Clayton Kershaw. Martinez and Kershaw face a challenge from Johnny Cueto, Jeurys Familia, and Troy Tulowitzki for the final slot.
Albert Pujols plays in his 10th All-Star game, starting at first base in place of the injured Miguel Cabrera. Mark Teixeira replaces Cabrera on the roster. Andrew McCutcheon takes the place of Gianvarlo Stanton for the NL.
Yost named six starters and seven relievers to his pitching staff;. Starters include Felix Hernandez, David Price, Chris sale, Dallas Keuchel, Sonny Gray, and Chris Archer. Relievers include Dellin Betances, Brad Boxberger, Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis, Darren O’Day, Glen Perkins, and Zach Britton.
AL reserves include Pujols, Manny Machado, Adam Jones, Prince Fielder, Jose Bautista, Russell Martin, Jason Kipnis, Stephen Vogt, Brock Holt, Mark Teixeira, Jose Iglesias, and J.D. Martinez.
NL manager Bruce Bochy’s list of starters includes Max Scherzer, Zack Greinke, Gerrit Cole, Madison Baumgarner, Michael Wacha, Jacob deGrom, Shelby Miller, and 38-year-old A. J Burnett, who pitches in his first All-Star game during his last season. The relievers include Trevor Rosenthal, Arnoldis Chapman, Mark Melancon, Jonathan Papelbon, and Francisco Rodriguez.
Chicago Cubs rookie Kris Bryant joins the NL team along with other reserves McCutcheon, Joc Pederson, Adrian Gonzales, Nolan Arenado, Brandon Crawford, Yadier Molina, Yasmani Grandal, Anthony Rizzo, D.J. LeMahieu, Joe Panik, A.J. Pollock, and Justin Upton. Bryant, who boasts a .279 average, 12 homers and 49 RBIs, enthused: “I’ve been at some all-star games, but I don’t think anything can compare to making the major league All-Star team … It’s all happened so quick. I’ve just been having so much fun with this, my baseball career. Right now, it’s a pretty special feeling for me.”