By Ross Kelly
After all is said and done, (at least) six Kansas City Royals will be headed to the MLB All-Star Game. The reserves were announced on Monday and two more Royals were named to the team in addition to 3B Mike Moustakas being a part of the AL’s final vote. On the other side of Missouri, three St. Louis Cardinals reserves will join their two starting teammates at the Midsummer Classic. The Royals (six) and the Cardinals (five) each led their respective leagues in All-Star selections.
Returning to the All-Star Game for the first time in five years is 1B Albert Pujols of the Los Angeles Angels. Pujols will actually start the game because voted-in starter, Miguel Cabrera, will miss the game due to injury. Familiar names such as Felix Hernandez, Jose Bautista, Andrew McCutchen, and Mark Teixeira will also be making the trip to Cincinnati.
Just two rookies made the team – Joc Pederson and Kris Bryant, but both sides will be loaded with young talent as 35 players aged 27 or younger were selected. This mirrors MLB as a whole which has shifted to more of a younger man’s game in recent years.
Notable snubs include Alex Rodriguez, Clayton Kershaw, and Troy Tulowitzki. Kershaw and Tulowitzki are among the Final Vote candidates for the NL so one of them has a chance to make it while Rodriguez was not included in the AL’s Final Vote. The manager for the AL team, Ned Yost, said he wanted flexibility with the final spot which is why it consists of two shortstops and three outfielders. Rodriguez has primarily suited up as the Yankees’ designated hitter this season and has only played 18 innings in the field.
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