Angels’ Shohei Ohtani becomes 1st All-Star picked as pitcher and hitter
Shohei Ohtani accomplished a first in the near-century history of baseball’s All-Star Game: choice as both a hitter and a pitcher.
The Los Angeles Angels’ two-way sensation was among the American League beginning pitchers picked Sunday for the July 13 feature at Denver’s Coors Field. Ohtani, who drives the majors in grand slams, had effectively been chosen by fans to begin as the AL’s assigned hitter.
The Boston Red Sox have the most All-Stars interestingly since 2009, sending five. Assigned hitter J.D. Martinez, beginning pitcher Nathan Eovaldi and reliever Matt Barnes were picked to join a couple of starters: shortstop Xander Bogaerts and third baseman Rafael Devers.
The Houston Astros and Toronto Blue Jays have four All-Stars each.
Ohtani got 121 votes in balloting by players, directors and mentors declared three days after fan-chose starters were uncovered.
“The guy’s going to participate in Home Run Derby, pitch in the game and hit in the game. That doesn’t happen like, ever,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said after speaking with AL skipper Kevin Cash of Tampa Bay. “So this is the one time … even the non-baseball fan can really latch onto this and become interested.”
Angel Ruth’s pitching days were to a great extent behind him when the All-Star Game began in 1933. Ruth showed up that year, the last one of his vocation on the last day of the period. He last contributed with routineness 1919.
Ohtani is hitting .278 with a significant association driving 31 homers and 67 RBIs. He is 3-1 with a 3.60 ERA and 83 strikeouts more than 60 innings in 12 beginnings on the mound.
The Angels didn’t make Ohtani accessible to media Sunday, and Major League Baseball has not resumed clubhouses to columnists since the beginning of the pandemic.
The group gave cites from Ohtani in which he said: “It’s my first time so I just want to enjoy everything. There’s also the Home Run Derby, so I’m looking forward to taking it all in and enjoy everything.”
The right-hander was joined by individual beginning pitchers Gerrit Cole of the New York Yankees (272 votes), and Lance Lynn (199) and Carlos Rodón (192) of the Chicago White Sox.
Cleveland’s Shane Bieber (189) likewise was chosen yet is harmed and will miss the game alongside Angels outfielder Mike Trout, who was chosen for start, and Washington Nationals outfielder Kyle Schwarber, who was picked as a hold.
New York Mets expert Jacob deGrom, who has a generally low ERA of 0.95, drove NL beginning pitchers with 321 votes, trailed by San Francisco’s Kevin Gausman (210), Milwaukee’s Corbin Burnes (153) and Brandon Woodruff (146), and San Diego’s Yu Darvish (105).
“I’m supposed to throw Sunday, so for me I don’t think it’s smart to go pitch in the All-Star Game,” deGrom said. “I’ve been a little beat up this first half and obviously missed a few starts which I wish I wouldn’t have missed, so I don’t think it makes sense for me to throw in it.”
The Yankees’ striving Aroldis Chapman (160), Chicago’s Liam Hendriks (159) and Barnes (117) are the AL relievers, and Chicago’s Craig Kimbrel (208), Milwaukee’s Josh Hader (191) and San Diego’s Mark Melancon (107) are in the NL warm up area.
Tampa Bay catcher Mike Zunino was chosen as an AL reserve alongside Oakland first baseman Matt Olson, Houston second baseman José Altuve and shortstop Carlos Correa, Cleveland third baseman Jose Ramirez and outfielders Cedric Mullins of Baltimore, Michael Brantley of the Astros and Adolis Garcia of Texas.
Significant League Baseball’s picks, which guarantee something like one player from each group takes an interest, included five pitchers, Eovaldi, Texas’ Kyle Gibson, Seattle’s Yusei Kikuchi, Houston’s Ryan Pressly and Detroit’s Gregory Soto, in addition to Toronto shortstop Bo Bichette, Minnesota DH Nelson Cruz, Texas outfielder Joey Gallo and Angels first baseman Jared Walsh.
Philadelphia catcher J.T. Realmuto was chosen as a reserve, alongside Dodgers first baseman Max Muncy, San Diego second baseman Jake Cronenworth, Washington shortstop Trea Turner, Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant, Los Angeles outfielder Mookie Betts and Pittsburgh outfielder Bryan Reynolds.
MLB added pitchers German Márquez of the host Rockies alongside St. Louis’ Alex Reyes, Miami’s Trevor Rogers and Philadelphia’s Zack Wheeler, in addition to Atlanta second baseman Ozzie Albies, San Francisco shortstop Brandon Crawford, Arizona infielder Eduardo Escobar, Washington outfielder Juan Soto and Dodgers outfielder Chris Taylor.
Garcia and Rogers are the lone new kids on the block among 34 first-time All-Stars. Toronto first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is the most youthful player at 22 years, 3½ months, only in front of San Diego shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. at 22 years, a half year and Juan Soto at 22 years, 8 months.
Players brought into the world external the 50 states include seven from the Dominican Republic, five from Venezuela, three from Japan, two from Cuba, and one each from Aruba, Australia, Canada, Curaçao and Puerto Rico.