CHICAGO -- José Abreu will once again be representing the White Sox as part of the 2019 American League All-Star team. Only this time, the first baseman will have two White Sox friends joining him in Cleveland on July 9.
“It's a dream come true,” McCann said. “You dream as a little boy to play in the big leagues. It's a dream on another level to be in an All-Star Game. To be able to have that kind of reality, it's a special feeling.”
“I’m very happy for them, for the team. And I’m very proud for them,” said Abreu through interpreter Billy Russo. “I know all the work they have put in to get to this point and to get that honor. I know that they are going to enjoy it and I’m going to enjoy it for them too.”
“Good day,” Giolito said. “It's been a dream of mine to be an MLB All-Star, ever since I was a little kid. Now, it's happening. It's probably going to take a couple days to sink in for real, but it's an amazing feeling.”
Giolito celebrated his All-Star selection by allowing one hit over five scoreless innings during a 4-3 rain-extended victory over the Twins Sunday. McCann singled home a run, while Abreu knocked out three-plus hits for the sixth time this season.
“He's one of the most underrated, if not unseen guys, in the league,” said White Sox manager Rick Renteria of Abreu.
All three of these White Sox All-Stars finished second among the player voting at their respective positions. Giolito had 215 votes behind the 267 for Justin Verlander among starters, but to even be talked about as an All-Star after his miserable 2018 season is a lesson in fortitude lived and taught by the White Sox ace.
This first-half success, featuring an 11-2 record and 2.72 ERA over 16 starts, comes after he led the AL in walks and had a 6.13 ERA in ‘18. It seems fitting Giolito and McCann became an All-Star battery considering the praise that Giolito has heaped upon the veteran for his ’19 guidance.
“If I wasn't throwing to him, I don't think that my numbers would be nearly as good as they are right now,” Giolito said. “His pitch calling back there, we're going on a long time. ... I don't remember the last time I shook off a pitch. The game planning, everything he brings to this team is amazing and I couldn't be prouder to head out with him and Pito [Abreu].”
“That means a lot to hear that, but he deserves a lot of credit for what he's done this year,” McCann said. “His mechanical adjustments, his mental adjustments, really the whole thing for him.”
The 2019 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard will be played on Tuesday, July 9, at Progressive Field in Cleveland. It will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 180 countries. FOX Deportes will provide Spanish-language coverage in the United States, while ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage. MLB Network, MLB.com and SiriusXM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage.
Abreu is moving toward his fifth season out of six in the Majors with at least 25 home runs and 100 RBIs, producing 19 homers, 20 doubles and 60 RBIs to go with a .268 average. McCann, much like Abreu, has been a veteran clubhouse fixture for the White Sox in ’19, while also breaking loose offensively, hitting .319 with nine homers and 28 RBIs.
Players such as shortstop Tim Anderson, third baseman Yoan Moncada and relievers Alex Colome and Aaron Bummer were deserving of consideration after strong first halves, but of course not every deserving player gets that All-Star nod. The White Sox are proud of the three they have, with the turnarounds from Giolito and McCann joining the steady Abreu.
“Did I know that I had this in me? Yeah. I felt like I hadn't reached my potential,” said McCann, who caught parts of five seasons with the Tigers before joining the White Sox via free agency in December. “I felt like there was more in there.
“Whatever the ceiling is, I just work daily to keep getting better. One day when I'm done with my career, I'll be able to look back and tell you what that ceiling was.”