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All-Star rosters packed with dynamic talent

July 5, 2016

The splendid swing of Ted Williams. The sweet succulence of fish tacos. The sublime 'stache of Ron Burgundy. These are some of San Diego's chief exports, but now we have a long list of impressive imports to pore over in advance of the July 12 All-Star Game presented by MasterCard

The splendid swing of Ted Williams. The sweet succulence of fish tacos. The sublime 'stache of Ron Burgundy. These are some of San Diego's chief exports, but now we have a long list of impressive imports to pore over in advance of the July 12 All-Star Game presented by MasterCard at Petco Park.
On Tuesday night's Esurance All-Star Selection Show, starting lineups and rosters for the American League and National League clubs were announced for the 87th Midsummer Classic, and fans now have until 4 p.m. ET on Friday to participate in the Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote to determine how the rosters round out.
2016 All-Star Game rosters
:: Complete All-Star Game coverage ::
For now, we have plenty to digest, including an NL infield of Cubs, an AL infield of cubs, the closest fan-voting result in recent memory and the usual assortment of surprises and second-guesses associated with the roster reserves.
Last AL, NL spots up for grabs in Final Vote
Start with that all-Cubs infield in the NL, where Anthony Rizzo, Ben Zobrist, Addison Russell and Kris Bryant were all selected as starters by the fans. Dexter Fowler was also chosen to represent the North Side in the NL outfield. Rounding out the NL starting squad: the Giants' Buster Posey behind the plate, and the Nats' Bryce Harper and Yoenis Cespedes of the Mets in the outfield.
VOTE NOW: Esurance Final Vote
The only other team to fill an entire All-Star starting infield was the 1963 Cardinals (first baseman Bill White, second baseman Julian Javier, shortstop Dick Groat and third baseman Ken Boyer). And the only other team to have five players selected by fans since fan voting was instituted in 1970 was the 1976 Big Red Machine (Johnny Bench, Dave Concepcion, George Foster, Joe Morgan and Pete Rose). So the Cubs are in good company.

"We're really excited for all of us going," Rizzo said.

The Red Sox also got a lot of love, with four selections -- Xander Bogaerts at short, Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley Jr. in the outfield and David Ortiz, who has been selected to the game for the 10th and final time, at designated hitter.

"This will be my last year playing," said Ortiz, "so it's something that can turn out to be very special."
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Reigning World Series MVP and Royals catcher Salvador Perez, the leading vote-getter this year (4,965,838 votes), will be assisting the Red Sox quartet, as will teammate Eric Hosmer at first. The Astros' Jose Altuve starts at second, and Orioles third baseman Manny Machado rounds out the infield. Angels center fielder Mike Trout joins the pair of Red Sox in the outfield. The AL has won 10 of 13 Midsummer Classics since the game's result began dictating home-field advantage in the World Series, including each of the last three.
Esurance Final Vote candidates in the AL are Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler, Rays third baseman Evan Longoria, Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia, Blue Jays outfielder Michael Saunders and Astros outfielder George Springer. In the NL, fans can choose among Giants first baseman Brandon Belt, Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun, D-backs third baseman Jake Lamb, Pirates outfielder Starling Marte and Rockies shortstop Trevor Story.
All-Star FAQ: How the teams are built
Remember: Your vote counts. This was proven in the NL result at second base, where Zobrist edged the Nationals' Daniel Murphy by just 88 clicks. The next-tightest vote came at NL catcher, where Posey edge Yadier Molina by 105,049 votes.
DYK: Facts to know about All-Star rosters
It won't be hard to see the Cubs' influence on the NL infield spot, but more subtle and equally interesting is that the AL catching spot and the entire infield is filled by players 26 or younger -- an All-Star Game first, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

New blood ruled the starting rosters, with 11 first-timers among the starting selections -- the most since 2005. Additionally, Bogaerts is the first Aruban-born player to make an All-Star team.
Pitchers and roster reserves were selected via a combination of the player ballot and the selections of AL manager Ned Yost and NL manager Terry Collins. Relative to preseason expectations, there are several surprises on the list.

On the AL pitching staff, Steven Wright, who has been Boston's statistical ace without all the fanfare attached to David Price, got a deserving nod from the player ballot, and the players also recognized the great strides Marco Estrada has made in Toronto. Yost gave the all-too-rare tip of the cap to a supreme setup man in Baltimore's Brad Brach, who joins bullpen mate Zach Britton along with Yost's own setup man, Kelvin Herrera, and two-thirds of the Yankees' dynamic back end in Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller. Houston's Will Harris took the spot of injured Royals closer Wade Davis. On Thursday, Estrada, placed on the disabled list with a lower back issue, was replaced by Indians right-hander Corey Kluber, the 2014 AL Cy Young winner who will be on an All-Star team for the first time.

One of Yost's more difficult decisions had to be in the infield. He needed to include a Twins representative, and Eduardo Nunez was certainly the most deserving. But with Bogaerts voted in by fans and Francisco Lindor picked by the players, there was no room for both Nunez and Astros phenom Carlos Correa, the reigning AL Rookie of the Year.

"Really," Yost said, "the hard part is finding guys for teams that aren't represented and then filling out the last couple of bullpen spots to give you an opportunity to give you the best team available."
In the NL, Clayton Kershaw's lower back injury, which forced him to the DL last week, might complicate Collins' starter selection, but at least with Kershaw selected and simultaneously declared inactive, Collins had an extra roster spot to play with. The players selected are starters Jake Arrieta, Madison Bumgarner, Johnny Cueto and Noah Syndergaard, alongside bullpen arms Jeurys Familia, Kenley Jansen, and Fernando Rodney. Collins added Jose Fernandez, Jon Lester, Mark Melancon, A.J. Ramos, Stephen Strasburg and Julio Teheran. Rodney's recent trade from the Padres to the Marlins means the Miami 'pen is represented by both its closer and new setup man, and Rodney's move also made Wil Myers a no-brainer to represent the host Padres.

The NL player ballot made the difficult decision on who should back up Russell at shortstop, as both Story and Dodgers rookie Corey Seager were deserving. The players sided with Seager, while Story tries again with the Final Vote. Collins had to make a tough call behind the dish, where Molina did not beat out Posey and was passed over in favor of Jonathan Lucroy and the hot-hitting Wilson Ramos.
Cardinals shortstop Aledmys Diaz was named to the team on Thursday to replace teammate Matt Carpenter, who went on the DL with strained oblique.
Notably, the NL player ballot disagreed with the fan choices at every single starting spot. The players' picks were: Ramos at catcher, Paul Goldschmidt at first, Murphy at second, Nolan Arenado at third, Seager at short and Marcell Ozuna, Carlos Gonzalez and Adam Duvall in the outfield.
Though the Final Vote will fill the 34th and final spot on each roster, there will be multiple alterations to the rosters between now and first pitch. Aside from Kershaw and Davis, Fowler is also on the DL with a strained right hamstring, though he has voiced hope that he'll be ready in time to participate in the event.
The Sunday starter rule will also impact the look of the rosters. Those who pitch on the final day before the All-Star break can be replaced, though they do have the option of choosing to remain available for one inning or a predetermined number of pitches.
If an elected starter is going to be unable to play, the reserve who received the most votes on the player ballot at that particular position moves into the starting lineup. The roster replacement is then chosen by the league manager.
If a reserve or pitcher is going to be unable to play, the league manager and the Commissioner's Office work together to decide the replacement.
Fans can vote for the 2016 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote until 4 p.m. ET on Friday. The winners, as chosen exclusively by online fan voting totals, will be announced during a Final Vote-themed telecast of "MLB Now" featuring commentary from political analyst Jeff Greenfield, live on MLB Network and from 4-5 p.m. ET. MLB Network will provide extensive coverage across all of its studio programming during the Final Vote, including interviews with the candidates, frequent updates, heat maps indicating the cities where votes are being cast for each candidate, news on player and club campaigns and a running countdown clock leading up to the announcement.
Baseball fans have cast nearly 600 million online votes for Final Vote candidates since the program's inception in 2002. In addition to and the official club websites, fans can use their mobile devices to cast votes at or via text message. To receive the ballot, text the word "VOTE" to 89269. To vote for a specific player, fans can text their choice to 89269. EXAMPLE: Text "A3" to vote for AL Player 3 or "N3" to vote for NL Player 3. Message and data rates may apply. Text "STOP" to end and "HELP" for information. Mobile voting in Canada also is available and fans should text their choices to 101010.
For the fifth consecutive year, the Final Vote will include social balloting, as Twitter support for the 10 candidates over the last six hours of balloting will count toward their vote totals. From 10 a.m.-4 p.m. ET on Friday, any tweet that includes a designated player hashtag will be tabulated as part of the official vote total used to determine the winners.
On Tuesday, July 12, starting at 7:30 p.m. ET, watch the 2016 All-Star Game presented by MasterCard live on FOX, and during the game visit to submit your choice for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet via the 2016 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote. The 87th All-Star Game, in San Diego, will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 160 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
C: Salvador Perez, Royals
1B: Eric Hosmer, Royals
2B: Jose Altuve, Astros
3B: Manny Machado, Orioles
SS: Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox
OF: Mookie Betts, Red Sox
OF: Jackie Bradley Jr., Red Sox
OF: Mike Trout, Angels
DH: David Ortiz, Red Sox
C: Stephen Vogt, Athletics #
C: Matt Wieters, Orioles ^
1B: Miguel Cabrera, Tigers ^
2B: Robinson Cano, Mariners ^
3B: Josh Donaldson, Blue Jays ^
SS: Francisco Lindor, Indians ^
SS: Eduardo Nunez, Twins #
OF: Carlos Beltran, Yankees ^
OF: Ian Desmond, Rangers ^
OF: Mark Trumbo, Orioles ^
DH: Edwin Encarnacion, Blue Jays ^
RHP: Dellin Betances, Yankees #
RHP: Brad Brach, Orioles #
LHP: Zach Britton, Orioles ^
RHP: Alex Colome, Rays #
RHP: Wade Davis, Royals ^*
RHP: Marco Estrada, Blue Jays ^ - injured
LHP: Cole Hamels, Rangers ^
RHP: Will Harris, Astros #
RHP: Kelvin Herrera, Royals #
RHP: Craig Kimbrel, Red Sox #
RHP: Corey Kluber, Indians*
LHP: Andrew Miller, Yankees ^
RHP: Danny Salazar, Indians ^
LHP: Chris Sale, White Sox ^
RHP: Steven Wright, Red Sox ^
Final Vote candidates
2B: Ian Kinsler, Tigers
3B: Evan Longoria, Rays
2B: Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox
OF: Michael Saunders, Blue Jays
OF: George Springer, Astros
C: Buster Posey, Giants
1B: Anthony Rizzo, Cubs
2B: Ben Zobrist, Cubs
3B: Kris Bryant, Cubs
SS: Addison Russell, Cubs
OF: Yoenis Cespedes, Mets
OF: Dexter Fowler, Cubs
OF: Bryce Harper, Nationals
C: Jonathan Lucroy, Brewers #
C: Wilson Ramos, Nationals ^
1B: Paul Goldschmidt, D-backs ^
1B: Wil Myers, Padres #
2B: Daniel Murphy, Nationals ^
3B: Nolan Arenado, Rockies ^
3B: Matt Carpenter, Cardinals # - injured
SS: Corey Seager, Dodgers ^
SS: Aledmys Diaz, Cardinals*
OF: Adam Duvall, Reds ^
OF: Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies ^
OF: Odubel Herrera, Phillies #
OF: Marcell Ozuna, Marlins ^
RHP: Jake Arrieta, Cubs ^
LHP: Madison Bumgarner, Giants ^
RHP: Johnny Cueto, Giants ^
RHP: Jeurys Familia, Mets ^
RHP: Jose Fernandez, Marlins #
RHP: Kenley Jansen, Dodgers ^
LHP: Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers ^*
LHP: Jon Lester, Cubs #
RHP: Mark Melancon, Pirates #
RHP: A.J. Ramos, Marlins #
RHP: Fernando Rodney, Marlins ^
RHP: Stephen Strasburg, Nationals #
RHP: Noah Syndergaard, Mets ^
RHP: Julio Teheran, Braves #
Final Vote candidates
1B: Brandon Belt, Giants
OF: Ryan Braun, Brewers
3B: Jake Lamb, D- backs
OF: Starling Marte, Pirates
SS: Trevor Story, Rockies
* Inactive
^ Player choice

Manager selection

  • Injury replacement

Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for since 2004. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince.