Three Blue Jays named to All-Star team
Bautista, Encarnacion and Buehrle will represent Toronto at Target Field on July 15
OAKLAND -- The Blue Jays will be sending three players to the All-Star Game in Minneapolis after Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion and Mark Buehrle received word on Sunday they made the American League team.
Bautista was voted into the game as a starter by the fans and will make his fifth consecutive appearance at an All-Star Game. He becomes the 10th American League outfielder in history to earn four consecutive fan elections. Bautista also joins Roberto Alomar as the only Blue Jays players to earn four consecutive starts.
Encarnacion secured his second consecutive spot on the team but won't be available to play. He said he was diagnosed with a Grade II strain of his right quadriceps muscle Sunday afternoon and he expects to miss at least the next two weeks. Encarnacion confirmed that he will skip the festivities and instead focus on his recovery.
Buehrle gets the well-deserved nod after enjoying one of the best first halves of his career. The 35-year-old has pitched at least 200 innings and recorded at least 10 victories in each of the past 13 seasons. He's never required a stint on the disabled list, but his effectiveness went to another level this year and Buehrle ranks among the league leaders in multiple pitching categories.
This marks the third time in five years that the Blue Jays will have at least three players at the All-Star Game. In 2013, Brett Cecil, Steve Delabar, Bautista and Encarnacion made the team, and in 2010, it was Bautista, John Buck and Vernon Wells.
Jose Bautista, OF
Prior ASGs: 2010-13
ASG Team W-L: 1-3
ASG stats: 1-for-5, 1 RBI, 1 BB
How he made 2014 AL team: Elected by fans
Why he's an All-Star: Bautista continues to be one of the most consistent sluggers in the game. He's enjoying his best season since 2012 and has been among the league leaders in on-base percentage all year long.
DYK?: Bautista was the runner-up in the 2012 Home Run Derby. He'll be looking to improve on that result this year as he's captain of the AL team.
Quotable: "It's great playing among the game's best. A lot of talented people in this league and just to be a part of that elite group that gets a chance to play in the All-Star Game is awesome. Hopefully I get to take advantage of meeting some of those guys, not as opponents as we normally do, but as teammates, and have a lot of fun."
Edwin Encarnacion, 1B/DH
Prior ASGs: 2013
ASG Team W-L: 1-0
ASG stats: 0-for-2
How he made 2014 AL team: Manager selection
Why he's an All-Star: Encarnacion tied Mickey Mantle for the most home runs hit by an AL player in May with 16. That number also set a Blue Jays record for the most by a player in a single month.
DYK?: Encarnacion was available to any team in baseball after he was designated for assignment by Toronto in 2010. He remained with the organization and had his breakout season in 2012 with 42 home runs.
Quotable: "That's something you work for, to be selected for the team. I feel happy for that, but my No. 1 thing right now is getting ready from my injury and recover as quickly as I can. I'm not going to be playing, I'm going to be doing my therapy and working on my leg to get it stronger and get it ready to get back on the field."
Mark Buehrle, LHP
Prior ASGs: 2002, 2005-06, 2009
ASG Team W-L: 3-0-1
ASG stats: 5 IP, 0 ER, 5 H, 5 K, 0 BB
How he made 2014 AL team: Player selection
Why he's an All-Star: Buehrle got off to the best start of his career and became the first Major League pitcher this season to reach double digits in wins. He's been the Blue Jays' most consistent starter and continues to be one of the most reliable pitchers in the game.
DYK?: Buehrle started for the AL team at the 2005 All-Star Game. He pitched two scoreless innings and eventually went on to help the White Sox win the World Series.
Quotable: "The past couple of years, I didn't think it was ever going to happen again. The older I'm getting, the prime is kind of in the past, and I didn't realize it was going to happen. But it's always an honor to go for two, fun, jam-packed days. I'll go and soak it up and try to have some fun."
Immediately following the announcement of the AL and National League All-Star rosters on Sunday, fans began voting to select the final player for each league's 34-man roster via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian. Fans can cast their votes from a list of five players from each league until the winners are announced after the voting concludes on Thursday at 4 p.m. ET.
The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again have fans help choose the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com and via Twitter in the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote Sponsored by Pepsi, and their collective voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
MLB.TV Premium subscribers, for the first time, will be able to live stream the All-Star Game via MLB.TV through FOX's participating video providers. Access will be available across more than 400 platforms that support MLB.TV, including the award-winning MLB.com At Bat app. MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.
The 85th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.