SAN DIEGO -- Led by staff ace Clayton Kershaw's seventh consecutive selection, the Dodgers had four players named to the National League team for the 2017 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard on Sunday, with a chance for five if third baseman Justin Turner wins the 2017 Esurance MLB All-Star Game
SAN DIEGO -- Led by staff ace Clayton Kershaw's seventh consecutive selection, the Dodgers had four players named to the National League team for the 2017 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard on Sunday, with a chance for five if third baseman Justin Turner wins the 2017 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote.
Kershaw -- who has the most consecutive All-Star berths for a Dodger since Steve Garvey had eight from 1974-81 -- is joined by closer Kenley Jansen, shortstop Corey Seager and rookie infielder-outfielder Cody Bellinger. This is the second consecutive selections for Jansen and Seager, the first for Bellinger, and it would be the first for Turner.
:: Complete All-Star Game coverage ::
In addition to casting ballots for the 2017 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote on MLB.com, Club sites and their mobile devices until 1 p.m. PT on Thursday, fans can show their support for Turner by tweeting with #VoteJT. The winners, as chosen exclusively by online fan voting totals, will then be announced during "MLB Tonight" live on MLB Network and MLB.com at 6 p.m. Extensive coverage throughout the Final Vote will be provided by MLB Network and MLB.com, including interviews with the candidates, frequent updates, heat maps indicating where votes are being cast for each candidate, news on player and club campaigns, and a running countdown clock leading up to the announcement.
Now in its 16th season, with more than 680 million votes cast, the Final Vote again will include social votes on the last day of balloting, as Twitter support for the 10 candidates over the final six hours of balloting will count toward their vote totals. From 7 a.m.-1 p.m. PT on Thursday, 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 11, at 4:30 p.m. PT, tune in to the 2017 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard live on FOX, and during the game visit MLB.com to submit your choice for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet via the 2017 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote. The 88th All-Star Game, in Miami, 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.com, MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.
The Dodgers were disappointed not only with Turner having to battle through the Final Vote process to become an All-Star, but also the bypassing of starting pitcher Alex Wood, who is having a breakout season with Kershaw-like numbers, becoming the first Dodger since Rick Rhoden in 1976 to begin a season 9-0. His 1.83 ERA would lead the league, but he's 8 1/3 innings shy of qualifying. Wood would be a deserving replacement for a pitcher injured or one who pitches the Sunday prior to the break and is ineligible to appear in the All-Star Game, which could even be his teammate, Kershaw.
"For Alex and J.T., very disappointed and surprised, and I think every year I guess they call them snubs, but when you're looking at the best team in the National League and you're looking at a guy that's got a thousand OPS and hitting near .390, another guy who's 9-0 with a [1.83 ERA], it's kind of ludicrous," said manager Dave Roberts.
Kershaw, 29, has never started an All-Star Game, and his availability to even pitch in this one is doubtful because he plans to start on the Sunday before the break. He is having another typically dominant season at 12-2, blemished only by an increase in home runs allowed during a season marked by an explosive increase of homers in general. He still leads the league with 12 wins, is second with a 2.32 ERA, first in innings pitched and second in strikeouts.
"I think Woody's going to get on there somehow, I made a team that way, and nobody remembers that," said Kershaw. "J.T. definitely deserves it, but there are a lot of good players at third base. It's a bummer. He's one of the best players on the best team in the National League."
Jansen, whose first selection last year accomplished a major check off his bucket list, is redefining the role of closer with a willingness to enter games in the eighth inning. He has nine saves of at least four outs, is on the verge of his sixth 20-save season and has converted 28 consecutively.
Seager, 23, was edged for the starting spot by Cincinnati's Zack Cozart. He said he will not repeat his participation in the T-Mobile Home Run Derby. He has 13 blasts compared to 17 at this point last summer en route to a total of 26, a record for a Dodgers shortstop. He just returned from missing five games with a mild right hamstring strain.
Bellinger, 21, wasn't even in the Major Leagues when the season started, but he's likely to duplicate Seager's achievement as a unanimous pick for NL Rookie of the Year. Since his April 25 callup, he's been on a record-breaking slugging rampage, entering Sunday's play as the NL leader with 24 homers and .633 slugging percentage, and manager Dave Roberts has said Bellinger saved the season in the absence of injured teammates Adrian Gonzalez, Joc Pederson and Alvin Toles. At 21 years, 354 days old, Bellinger becomes the youngest position player to be honored as an All-Star in franchise history. The previous was Seager at 22 years, 69 days.
"When I was called up, I didn't expect that, so for me, I'm just riding it out," said Bellinger. "This was way off the radar when I first came up."
Turner, 32, playing a position in the shadow of Colorado All-Star starter Nolan Arenado, would probably be a Gold Glove third baseman in another era. He also has turned himself into a lethal clutch hitter along with earning the undisputed mantle of team leader in the clubhouse.
Turner will compete in the Esurance Final Vote with four fellow corner infielders: the Marlins' Justin Bour, the Cubs' Kristopher Bryant, the Nationals' Anthony Rendon and the Rockies' Mark Reynolds.
Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001.