NEW YORK -- Jose Fernandez is developing an affinity for Citi Field. The home of the Mets is where the hard-throwing right-hander made his MLB debut in 2013, and he pitched in the All-Star Game there that same year.On Tuesday night, Fernandez happened to be at Citi Field again when
NEW YORK -- Jose Fernandez is developing an affinity for Citi Field. The home of the Mets is where the hard-throwing right-hander made his MLB debut in 2013, and he pitched in the All-Star Game there that same year.
On Tuesday night, Fernandez happened to be at Citi Field again when he received good news. The hard-throwing right-hander was selected to his second Midsummer Classic, and he is one of four Marlins picked to the National League squad, joining center fielder Marcell Ozuna and relievers A.J. Ramos and Fernando Rodney for the All-Star Game presented by MasterCard (Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. ET). Fernandez and Ramos were selected by NL manager Terry Collins, while Ozuna and Rodney were chosen by a player vote.
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Having four All-Stars matches the most ever by the Marlins in one All-Star Game. They also sent four in 2004 (Miguel Cabrera, Mike Lowell, Carl Pavano and Armando Benitez) and '05 (Dontrelle Willis, Paul LoDuca, Luis Castillo and Cabrera).
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"It goes back to what we've talked about all year long. We feel we have a talented club and we have high hopes," manager Don Mattingly said. "It speaks to the talent level here. Not necessarily experience, but it's growing and going in the right direction. So I think it's important from the standpoint of our guys knowing we have that type of player here."
The Marlins are surprise contenders this season, and their players were rewarded. Ramos and Ozuna are All-Stars for the first time, and Rodney is now a three-time All-Star, although his selection this year is based on how he pitched for the Padres.
"We're going to go out there and represent the fans in Miami and the people that voted for us, but I think there are things that need to be done," Fernandez said.
Fernandez and several other Marlins players noted that others on the squad had All-Star-worthy seasons, like catcher J.T. Realmuto, third baseman Martin Prado, left fielder Christian Yelich, and even Ichiro Suzuki, who is 10 hits shy of 3,000 for his MLB career and is batting .340 this season in 162 at-bats.
"We're lucky to be a part of it, but at the same time, I feel like we have a lot of players who deserve to be there, to be talked about," Fernandez said. "I think more than four should be there."
Ozuna, 25, is enjoying a breakout season, leading the Marlins in RBIs (47) and tied for the lead in homers (17). Ramos had converted his first 24 straight save chances before his streak ended in Atlanta last Friday. Dating back to 2015, Ramos had a streak of 33 straight converted saves, which matched the franchise record he shares with Steve Cishek.
Rodney was acquired by the Marlins on June 30 from the Padres, for whom he had converted all 17 of his save chances. He previously was an All-Star with the Rays in 2012 and the Mariners in '14.
Reaching the All-Star level again is a major accomplishment for Fernandez, who is back in the Midsummer Classic 26 months after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Fernandez has been the anchor of the rotation, posting a 10-4 record with a 2.69 ERA in 16 starts. The right-hander's 146 strikeouts are second in the Majors to Washington's Max Scherzer (155).
For Ozuna, the road to the All-Star Game was a rough one. Last year at this time, he had been optioned to Triple-A New Orleans. But he's back and producing at a high level in the Majors, batting .314 with those 17 homers and 47 RBIs.
In the offseason, Ozuna worked in the Dominican Republic with Mariners All-Star second baseman Robinson Cano. Plus, Ozuna is thrilled to be part of David Ortiz's final All-Star Game.
"I've meet with him in the Dominican; we talk," Ozuna said of Big Papi. "For him to be in the game, it's going to be awesome. To see Robinson Cano there, too, he's part of my offseason work."
Ramos, who was a 21st-round pick out of Texas Tech in the 2009 Draft, has overcome the odds to become an All-Star.
"I'd listen to all the criticism," Ramos said. "I let that fuel me. A lot of people counted me out, especially after I had Tommy John surgery my junior year [at Texas Tech]. I always worked hard to try to overcome everything, and to prove people wrong."
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 MLB.com 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 MLB.com and the official club websites, fans can use their mobile devices to cast votes at MLB.com/vote 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, watch the 2016 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 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.com, MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.
One popular Marlin not selected to the All-Star squad was Giancarlo Stanton, a three-time All-Star who has had a down season. But Stanton said after the Marlins beat the Mets, 5-2, on Tuesday night -- a game in which he drove in all five Miami runs on a pair of homers -- that he would accept an offer if he was asked to participate in Monday night's T-Mobile Home Run Derby at Petco Park.
"Unfortunately, I missed two Home Run Derbies I was supposed to be in," said Stanton, who was injured twice in years he was named to the All-Star Game. "Now, I've got some catching up to do."
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.