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Jeffress added as Brewers' 5th All-Star

Reliever joins Hader, Cain, Yelich, Aguilar; 5 selections sets club record
MLB.com

PITTSBURGH -- After the Brewers-Pirates game on Thursday, Major League Baseball announced that lights-out reliever Jeremy Jeffress was named to his first career All-Star team. The Brewers now have a franchise-record five All-Stars.

"It just means that I know I can overcome anything that I go through," Jeffress said. "Because I've been through so much. Just to start off the year with a great first half, and to be in this moment right now. Words can't even express how I feel."

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PITTSBURGH -- After the Brewers-Pirates game on Thursday, Major League Baseball announced that lights-out reliever Jeremy Jeffress was named to his first career All-Star team. The Brewers now have a franchise-record five All-Stars.

"It just means that I know I can overcome anything that I go through," Jeffress said. "Because I've been through so much. Just to start off the year with a great first half, and to be in this moment right now. Words can't even express how I feel."

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Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell had put in a call this week to help Jeffress join a group of four Milwaukee players headed to the MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard (Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. CT on FOX), and Counsell got his wish.

:: Complete All-Star Game coverage ::

Counsell called National League manager Dave Roberts to put in a good word for Jeffress, who entered the Brewers' final series before the break with a 0.99 ERA and 0.84 WHIP in 44 appearances.

"As soon as JJ wasn't included on the team, the first thing I was looking at was -- there's always some 'unable to pitch' guys," Counsell said. "His name has to go to the top of the list [of replacements]. There are other guys' names that deserve to be on the list, for sure. ... My thing is, he's got to be on that list of guys you'd consider."

Video: Counsell on informing Jeffress of ASG nod

MLB chooses replacements for pitchers who are injured or who start Sunday's first-half finale and opt not to participate in the All-Star Game. D-backs right-hander Zack Greinke was selected to replace the Cubs' Jon Lester on Thursday after Lester's next start was bumped to Sunday. Jeffress replaces Nationals closer Sean Doolittle, who is on the disabled list.

Tweet from @Brewers: Perseverance paid off for All-Star @JMontana41. #ThisIsMyCrew pic.twitter.com/SJpFHd6NrL

"All the guys, they believed in me," Jeffress said. "And they knew from the first day that the results came out that I should've been there. It's the fact that they stuck behind me. Just kept believing in me, kept giving me advice saying, 'Continue doing what you're doing, and people will notice your ability.'"

Relief ace Josh Hader, outfielders Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich and first baseman Jesus Aguilar also are headed to the All-Star Game for the Brewers.

Brewers announce 13 international signings
On Thursday, the Brewers announced the signings of 13 players during the international signing period, which began July 2.

"Any sort of amateur acquisition is going to be really vital," Brewers international scouting director Mike Groopman said. "You see a lot of bright, young international stars in the game that are really dynamic players, and that's what our scouts are looking for every day, and that's what we hope to bring to the organization."

Some of the key signings of the group were center fielder Eduarqui Fernandez, infielder Branlyn Jaraba, shortstop Eduardo Garcia and left fielder Erys Bautista. Fernandez, Jaraba and Garcia each received $1.1 million bonuses, and Bautista signed for $500,000 per MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez.

Tweet from @Brewers: The Brewers have announced the signings of 13 players under the international signing period, which began on Monday, July 2: https://t.co/x8AC9i2Fo5 pic.twitter.com/GRDMtCbZVZ

Groopman described Fernandez as an athletic outfielder who grades as a plus runner with tremendous bat speed. Jaraba plays both shortstop and third base and has the potential to serve as a power bat.

When describing Garcia, Groopman said, "His bat has really kind of developed over the last year or so that gives him some offensive upside, too. But he's really a guy that stands out for his defense at shortstop."

Milwaukee continues to rotate arms
As the Brewers close out the stretch of playing 21 games in 20 days before the All-Star break, Milwaukee made another move by reinstating southpaw Wade Miley from the 60-day disabled list (oblique injury) to start the opener of a five-game series with the Pirates on Thursday. The Brewers also recalled right-handers Alec Asher and Adrian Houser.

Asher's lone appearance this season came on May 12 when he allowed two hits over two shutout innings against the Rockies. Houser has appeared in five games with Milwaukee this year, allowing one earned run while striking out six and walking two over nine innings.

"We've played a lot of innings," Counsell said. "We've covered a lot of innings with the bullpen. We just had a need for arms right now to make sure we get guys in the right spots."

Tweet from @Brewers: LHP Wade Miley has been reinstated from the 60-day disabled list and will start tonight in Pittsburgh. RHP Alec Asher and RHP Adrian Houser have been recalled from Triple-A @skysox. pic.twitter.com/zF4aHkW3Bn

The Brewers optioned infielder Nate Orf and right-hander Jorge Lopez to Triple-A Colorado Springs, optioned Freddy Peralta to Class A Wisconsin and released infielder Eric Sogard.

Counsell said moving Peralta was an easier decision due to him not being scheduled to make another start before the unofficial end of the first half of the season. Counsell said the plan is for Peralta to start one of the first five games after the All-Star break.

Mason Wittner is a reporter for MLB.com based in Pittsburgh.

Milwaukee Brewers, Jeremy Jeffress