Skenes, Witt among 32 first-time MLB All-Stars

r1333747 600x400 3 2

The rosters for the 2024 MLB All-Star Game feature 32 first-time All-Stars and 19 players under the age of 27, a fitting snapshot for a sport skewing younger and younger.

American League and National League pitchers and reserves were announced Sunday for the July 16 exhibition at Globe Life Field in Texas, a week after the starters were revealed.

The group of first-time All-Stars named Sunday includes Kansas City Royals shortstop Bobby Witt Jr., Cincinnati Reds shortstop Elly De La Cruz, San Diego Padres rookie outfielder Jackson Merrill, Oakland Athletics closer Mason Miller and Pittsburgh Pirates rookie right-hander Paul Skenes.

Skenes, a candidate to start on the mound for the NL, became the first player to be named an All-Star the season after being selected first overall in the draft. Merrill, 21, was the youngest player chosen on either roster. Baltimore Orioles shortstop Gunnar Henderson, 22, is the youngest player on the AL team after being elected a starter by fans.

“This is cool, and I’m just grateful for all you guys,” Skenes said to teammates in the clubhouse after being told by manager Derek Shelton. “Since the first day I’ve been here I’ve been part of the team. I couldn’t have done it without you guys.”

Neither roster has a player with double-digit All-Star appearances: Royals catcher Salvador Perez, named an AL reserve, and Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve, elected an AL starter by fans, lead the pack with nine selections each.

Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Bryce Harper, Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman, Dodgers shortstop Mookie Betts and Atlanta Braves left-hander Chris Sale are All-Stars for the eighth time. Harper will start after being the NL’s top vote-getter. Freeman, Betts and Sale were selected as reserves, though Betts will not play because of a broken hand.

“It is definitely satisfying. I appreciate it for sure,” said Sale, acquired by the Braves from Boston in December. “They took a chance and I’m happy to be able to do this for them.”

For Betts, it was his first selection as an infielder after seven as an outfielder. He was one of five Dodgers pitchers and reserves named to the NL All-Star team Sunday, joined by Freeman, catcher Will Smith, outfielder Teoscar Hernandez and right-hander Tyler Glasnow. They brought the club’s total of All-Stars to six after Shohei Ohtani was named the NL’s starting designated hitter Wednesday. It’s the fifth straight year they’ve had at least five All-Stars.

Only the Phillies, owners of the best record in the majors for most of the season, are better represented with seven players. Four of them, all pitchers, were named to the NL team Sunday: Zack Wheeler, Ranger Suarez, Matt Strahm and Jeff Hoffman. They joined Harper, Trea Turner and Alec Bohm, who were all elected as starters.

The Padres have five All-Stars, including their entire starting outfield with Merrill joining Fernando Tatis Jr. and Jurickson Profar, who were voted in as starters. Closer Robert Suarez and second baseman Luis Arraez will accompany the outfielders.

The Cleveland Guardians’ five selections top the AL. Joining starters Jose Ramirez and Steven Kwan will be designated hitter David Fry, first baseman Josh Naylor and closer Emmanuel Clase. The Royals, a 106-loss team last season, were rewarded for their surprising first half with four All-Stars: Witt, Pérez and starting pitchers Seth Lugo and Cole Ragans.

Both AL Central teams will send more players to the game than the Orioles, Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, three higher-profile AL East contenders with three selections each.

The Orioles had Henderson, a first-time selection, and catcher Adley Rutschman, now a two-time All-Star, elected starters Wednesday. They were joined Sunday by right-hander Corbin Burnes, who was selected an All-Star for the fourth time.

The Red Sox had their three All-Stars named Sunday: third baseman Rafael Devers, outfielder Jarren Duran, and right-hander Tanner Houck.

Yankees closer Clay Holmes was named to the AL team Sunday following outfielders Aaron Judge and Juan Soto’s selections as starters. Judge, who led all vote-getters, is a six-time All-Star and an All-Star for the fourth straight time. It’s Soto’s fourth selection and first start.

“I was probably a little surprised,” said Holmes, who was also an All-Star in 2022. “All-Star Games are a hard thing to make. I don’t think you can ever fully expect it. I’m not coming in with a zero ERA. It’s definitely an honor and I’m super grateful. I’m glad to be a part of the team.”

The Rangers will have two players — reliever Kirby Yates and second baseman Marcus Semien — representing Texas at Globe Life Field.

Rosters are expanded from 26 to 32 for the All-Star Game. They include starters elected by fans, 17 players (five starting pitchers, three relievers and a backup for each position) chosen in a player vote and six players (four pitchers and two position players) selected by league officials. Every club must be represented.

Of the 15 teams with one representative, the Minnesota Twins, who had shortstop Carlos Correa named an AL reserve Sunday, own the best record. The Seattle Mariners, sitting in first place in the AL West, also have one All-Star: right-hander Logan Gilbert. First baseman Pete Alonso, a two-time Home Run Derby champion, was the New York Mets’ only player chosen.

Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Los Angeles Angels left-hander Tyler Anderson, Miller, Chicago White Sox left-hander Garrett Crochet, Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Isaac Paredes, St. Louis Cardinals closer Ryan Helsley, Chicago Cubs left-hander Shota Imanaga, Miami Marlins reliever Tanner Scott, Washington Nationals shortstop CJ Abrams, De La Cruz, Arizona Diamondbacks second baseman Ketel Marte and Colorado Rockies infielder Ryan McMahon are the lone representatives for their respective teams.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source link

About The Author

Scroll to Top