Six Red Sox are named to AL team
Clay Buchholz tried to not think about the All-Star Game in the final days leading up to yesterday’s selections. With 10 wins this season, Buchholz knew he had a good chance to receive the honor. All along, though, he said his dream was to just make a major league club.
Now, Buchholz is among the elite in baseball.
Buchholz and five other Red Sox were named to the American League All-Star roster as reserves — voted in by players, managers, and coaches. The others were Jon Lester, Adrian Beltre, Victor Martinez, David Ortiz, and Dustin Pedroia. It is the fourth consecutive year the Red Sox have had at least six players selected.
For Buchholz, 25, the July 13 game in Anaheim, Calif., will be his first time as an All-Star. The honor comes two seasons after he struggled with a 2-9 record and a 6.75 ERA.
“I think this is probably the best way it could have paid off, to be a part of something like this,’’ said Buchholz, who this season has a 2.45 ERA. “There are guys who go 12 years through the big leagues and don’t get to participate in something like this.’’
Although it is unlikely Buchholz will pitch in the game because of a strained lower left hamstring, Lester should get a chance to pitch. It also will be the lefthander’s first All-Star appearance.
Both said they are excited to experience the event together.
“It’ll be fun, and hopefully it’s not the last one,’’ said Lester, who has 10 victories and a 2.76 ERA. “Hopefully, we get to do it a lot more.’’
Manager Terry Francona called Lester, who was stuck in traffic yesterday on his way to the ballpark, to tell his starter he made the team. “I’m around our guys a lot,’’ Francona said, “but I think they were genuinely excited and respectful and humbled by the honor.’’
Beltre, a 13-year veteran, was another first-time selection. He is third in the majors in batting with a .341 average.
Ortiz will be making his sixth All-Star appearance — an impressive feat after his struggles in April. In May, Ortiz was named AL Player of the Month, and since May 1 he has blasted 16 home runs. What made the honor special for Ortiz this time was how he was selected to the team.
“I really appreciate that the players think I’m a guy who plays the game the way it’s supposed to be,’’ Ortiz said. “I think when you get voted by the players, it means everybody agrees with what you’re doing.’’
Pedroia and Martinez will sit out the game, as both are on the disabled list. Pedroia suffered a nondisplaced fracture of the navicular bone in his left foot June 25 in San Francisco. Two days later, Martinez broke his left thumb.
The Sox have continued to play well the first half of the season despite several challenges. The team is just 1 1/2 games out of first place — which resulted in the Sox being tied with the Yankees for the most All-Stars.
“I think we’re deserving,’’ first baseman Kevin Youkilis said. “We started out horrible, and we’ve had a lot of injuries and adversity. We deserve to have a lot of guys on the All-Star team because when you have close to the most wins in baseball, you deserve to have more All-Stars than none.’’
Youkilis is one of five players who can be voted in by fans on MLB.com for the final spot on the AL roster. The results will be announced Thursday. Youkilis has a .299 average with 17 home runs and 54 RBIs.
After learning Youkilis was left off the team, Pedroia lobbied for fans to vote for his teammate.
“His numbers are ridiculous,’’ Pedroia said. “You look across the board and first base is a tough position, especially this year. Guys are putting up
Pedroia was asked if he will vote for Youkilis. As the second baseman sat in a chair with a medical boot on his left foot and crutches nearby, he smiled.
“Trust me,’’ he said. “I have a lot of time.’’
Nate Taylor can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.