Gallen, Gurriel Jr. join Carroll as All-Stars

July 3rd, 2023

ANAHEIM -- Torey Lovullo called his team together in the clubhouse an hour and a half before the D-backs’ game Sunday afternoon against the Angels. The manager proceeded to announce that pitcher and outfielder would be joining outfielder at the All-Star Game.

Gallen sat at a table, head down looking at an iPad intently studying his game plan for that day’s start. No doubt he was happy, but the news was somewhat expected and, well, he had work to do.

“That's typical for Zac,” Lovullo said. “I'm sure at some point, he's going to sit back and be excited about it.”

Gallen still wasn’t ready to give into the joy of his selection after he allowed four runs over seven innings in a 5-2 loss to the Angels.

“I heard this morning,” Gallen said. “But, you know, I just had a job to do today. I mean, I'll probably be able to enjoy it, I guess, a little bit after this. It's bittersweet because we lost, but it’s an All-Star selection, so I’ll try to enjoy it as best I can. But back to business tomorrow.”

Carroll was chosen via the fan vote to start in the outfield at the All-Star Game, along with Ronald Acuña Jr. and Mookie Betts. Gallen and Gurriel both received their invitations via player voting, giving the D-backs multiple representatives for the first time since 2019. It’s the first time they’ve had three All-Stars since 2018.

Gurriel had been a finalist to start based on the fan voting but came up short. Instead, he was recognized for his efforts by fellow players.

“First of all, I want to thank my teammates and my family for all the support,” Gurriel said. “Almost every player thinks about [being an All-Star], and it’s amazing that it’s actually happening for me.”

The increase in players selected coincides with the D-backs’ improvement on the field. Entering Sunday, the NL West-leading D-backs had the second-best record in the National League at 50-34, trailing only the Braves.

“We're so proud of that,” Lovullo said of three players being selected. “And I feel like we could have more, to be honest with you. We were in a very good space; we're in a good spot. And when you have good players, you win baseball games. Those three All-Stars are a major reason why we are where we are.”

One notable omission for the D-backs was second baseman , who was tied with Betts for the second-best bWAR in the NL with a 3.7 mark.

Lovullo made it clear that he had no issues with the players who did make the team instead of Marte -- Miami’s Luis Arraez will start at second base, and Atlanta’s Ozzie Albies was selected as a backup -- but the skipper felt like Marte certainly deserved it, as well.

“It’s a little bit frustrating,” Lovullo said. “When you add up everything -- what Ketel has meant to this team and the way he’s performed and played, he is an All-Star.”

This is the first All-Star selection for both Gallen and Gurriel, who earned the respect of their fellow players with stellar first halves of the season.

Gallen, who finished fifth in the NL Cy Young Award voting last year, is putting together another outstanding season. The right-hander came into his start Sunday against the Angels tied for the NL lead in wins (10), sixth in strikeouts (108) and sixth in ERA (3.02). He then added another 12 strikeouts to his total over seven innings against the Angels but yielded a solo homer by Mike Trout and a three-run drive by Mickey Moniak.

The 27-year-old has come up big for the D-backs when they’ve needed him most, going 6-0 with a 1.86 ERA in nine starts following an Arizona loss.

“He's one of the best pitchers in this league for a reason,” Carroll said. “Watching his preparation and dedication, it's pretty incredible to watch. I know I learn a lot from him, and he's been our guy all year. Every time he goes out there, he gives us a great performance.”

Gurriel was acquired by the D-backs along with catcher Gabriel Moreno in the offseason from the Blue Jays in exchange for outfielder Daulton Varsho.

The 29-year-old entered Sunday with a slash line of .269/.319/.487. Belying his newcomer status, he has become an important part of the clubhouse.

“He’s one of my favorite teammates I've had,” Carroll said. “Just an absolute gem of a human. He means a lot to this team, both on and off the field.”