Iglesias, J.D. Martinez, Price join Miggy as All-Stars
SEATTLE -- Jose Iglesias was at home in Miami during last year's All-Star Game, midway through his lost season rehabbing from stress fractures in both shins. He was just dreaming of getting back on any field, let alone alongside the greatest players in the game. J.D. Martinez was at least playing, but he was more worried about holding down an everyday starting job in the Tigers outfield after being released by the Astros in Spring Training. An All-Star selection was beyond his dreams.
On Monday, Iglesias. Martinez and David Price joined Miguel Cabrera as the Tigers' contingent headed to Cincinnati for next week's All-Star Game presented by T-Mobile. Cabrera, who will not play due to injury, learned Sunday he'd been selected by the fans to start at first base. Iglesias, Martinez and Price were selected by the player vote. While it was special for Price, it was emotional for the other two.
:: All-Star Game on Fox: July 14, 7 ET air time | 8:15 game time ::"It's awesome," Martinez said. "It's a blessing from God. It's pretty exciting. Words can't really explain it."
Both got the word from manager Brad Ausmus, whose first and only All-Star selection came with the Tigers in 1999.
"I was really happy when Brad called me and told me. It was really emotional for me," Iglesias said. "You go out there and play hard every day, try to put yourself in a good position for this. I'm just blessed. It will be a privilege to be there."
Both got an abundance of respect from their peers. Iglesias, who finished second to Kansas City's Alcides Escobar in fan voting, led the player vote with 369 votes. His .323 batting average ranked fourth among AL players entering play Monday, but his bigger case came on defense, where his range and strong arm have made him a regular for defensive highlights and a case as the best defensive shortstop in the AL.
For someone coming off a lost season, it has been quite a comeback.
"That's what makes this news so special for me," he said, "being away from the game for a year with stress fractures, dealing with the tough time at home. And now to be back and help this team every day and be healthy and be honored by being in the All-Star team, that makes it more special."
Martinez ranked second in the AL in home runs with 23 entering Monday, but he wasn't sure that would get him in. The bulk of his production came over the last few weeks. He finished fourth in player voting among AL outfielders.
"I really can't explain how it happened," Martinez said. "When the players votes came out, my numbers were OK, but I think the last week was when I was able to really add onto it. I thank the players and the managers and everyone who voted for me."
Price, 8-2 with a 2.54 ERA this season, said he'll have a special time with the Midsummer Classic being so close to his home near Nashville. But he was happiest for his teammates.
"To me, the first one is always the most memorable," he said. "I'm very happy for J.D. and Iglesias to be a part of that. If they want to tag along with me, they're more than welcome to go anywhere I go."
Outfielder Yoenis Cespedes has a chance join the Tigers' All-Star contingent, as he's one of five players up for the final spot on the AL roster via the Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote. Voting is open now at MLB.com to select the final player for each League's 34-man roster. Fans can cast their votes from a list of five players from each League until 4 p.m. ET on Friday.
And the voting doesn't end there. During the Midsummer Classic in Cincinnati on Tuesday, July 14, fans can once again visit MLB.com to submit their choice for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. Voting exclusively at MLB.com, online and via their mobile devices in the 2015 All-Star Game MVP Vote presented by Chevrolet, the fans' collective voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
MLB.TV Premium subscribers will be able to live stream the All-Star Game via MLB.TV through FOX's participating video providers. Access will be available across more than 400 supported MLB.TV platforms, including the award-winning MLB.com At Bat app. MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities, including the 2015 Gillette Home Run Derby presented by Head & Shoulders, part of Gatorade All-Star Workout Day on Monday, July 13. The Derby will feature a new format with brackets and timed rounds and will be broadcast live by ESPN and MLB.com beginning at 8 p.m. ET.
The 86th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports (7 p.m. ET air time, 8:15 first pitch), in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 160 countries. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive 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 allstargame.com.