Alonso heading to All-Star Game for 4th time

July 8th, 2024

PITTSBURGH -- Mets manager Carlos Mendoza pulled first baseman into his office prior to Sunday afternoon’s 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

A call to the skipper’s office is never a good thing, and a confused Alonso knew it. Especially when Mendoza had a serious look on his face.

As it turned out, the reason couldn't have been better.

Mendoza delivered the news to Alonso that he was headed back to the Midsummer Classic for the fourth time in his career. Alonso is, at least for now, the Mets’ lone selection for the second consecutive season. Others could still be named as replacements due to injuries or player opt-outs.

“I feel truly blessed,” the Polar Bear said. “I’m really excited. It’s going to be really fun getting out there.”

Alonso will also participate in the T-Mobile Home Run Derby at Globe Life Field in Arlington on July 15, looking to become a three-time champion of the event.

The sixth-year big leaguer out of Tampa, Fla., is batting .243 this season with 18 home runs (sixth in the NL), 48 RBIs (21st), 21 doubles (tied for eighth), 39 extra-base hits (ninth) and a .464 slugging percentage (15th).

“It’s really exciting,” Alonso said. “It's really elite company. It’s such an honor. I'm very humbled and very happy to partake. It’s really cool.”

Alonso earned the honor in large part to an offensive resurgence following a rocky April. The infielder has 10 home runs and 17 doubles since May 7. His 17 doubles are tied for the second most in the Majors during that stretch. He’s collected 16 RBIs over his last 19 games dating back to June 16.

“I’m really pleased with some parts [of my first half] but I’m really excited for better things to come,” Alonso said. “I think that, progressively, I’ve made some adjustments [along] the way, and I think that finding success as the season’s gone along has been really nice and I want to keep continuing that and helping this team win ballgames.”

Alonso, along with seven other NL All-Stars, were selected by the Commissioner’s Office. Every other reserve player and pitcher was chosen by a league-wide player vote.

With 210 career home runs (fourth in Mets history) and 546 RBIs (seventh), Alonso has already cemented himself as one of the best players to ever suit up for New York. Mendoza has had the opportunity to witness firsthand the impact he can have on a game.

“He got hot and then he got cold,” Mendoza said of Alonso’s first half. “He’s a guy that can carry us. I like the at-bats as of late. I think he’s making progress as far as the chases go, but the impact is there. He’s a game changer. When he’s at the plate, anything can happen, and you feel good about your chances when he’s up there.”

Mendoza said he was surprised to learn that the Mets only had one selection, and he’s hopeful that other candidates, like Francisco Lindor, Luis Severino, Sean Manaea and Brandon Nimmo, will be given consideration should other players be forced out of the event.

Alonso agreed.

“They’ve played their tails off,” he said. “Those guys have proven that they can be there. They’re playing at a super high caliber. I mean, there’s still time. I think that if there’s any late adds, they definitely would be on the roster, for sure.”

The 29-year-old faced plenty of fierce competition on the ballot to represent the National League, particularly at his position. Alonso will join fellow first basemen Freddie Freeman of the Dodgers and Bryce Harper of the Phillies on the NL squad.