ST. PETERSBURG -- Playing in his first All-Star Game is an experience Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto will never forget. It's also something the 27-year-old also isn't taking for granted.Realmuto was the lone Marlins player represented in Tuesday's All-Star Game presented by Mastercard. The American League defeated the National League, 8-6,
ST. PETERSBURG -- Playing in his first All-Star Game is an experience Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto will never forget. It's also something the 27-year-old also isn't taking for granted.
Realmuto was the lone Marlins player represented in Tuesday's All-Star Game presented by Mastercard. The American League defeated the National League, 8-6, in 10 innings, with Realmuto catching the final five innings at Nationals Park.
On the cusp of being an All-Star the past few seasons, Realmuto finally made it to the Midsummer Classic, and he walked in his two plate appearances.
During the event, Realmuto said he spoke with Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman about savoring the moment.
"You never know when you're going to get back," Realmuto said. "I was talking with Freddie Freeman about it. He made the All-Star Game two years in a row, and he felt like he was going to be there every year for the rest of his career. He didn't make it three years in a row."
Freeman was an All-Star in 2013-14, and didn't make it back until this week.
"Stuff happens," Realmuto said. "Injuries happen. Even if you're one of the best players in the league, you don't always make the All-Star Game. It's something you really should take time to appreciate and cherish the moments that you get while you're there.
"It was a dream come true, just to get to be there with those players, and being part of the best players in the world, really. It's something I will definitely cherish the rest of my life."
The takeaway the Marlins hope to see from Realmuto in the second half is to keep building on his standout season.
"I always thought it was energizing, when you come out of those games because you get a chance to be on that stage, as far as being a part of all the best players," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "You see that game as a kid all the time. A lot of ceremony going on, a lot around it. It puts you on the stage that tells the world that you are one of the best players in the country."
However, there are also times when All-Stars fizzle down the stretch.
"I've seen it both ways, honestly," Mattingly said. "I've seen guys come out of that game and be energized and I've seen guys come out of it, like, 'Hey, I've made my season already,' and the second half is nothing like the first.
"I expect J.T. to keep playing. He's not that kind of guy who is going to be worried about the All-Star Game that much. I'm sure he looks at it as an honor. He will keep playing [hard]. That's who he is."
• The non-waiver Trade Deadline is approaching, and a number of Marlins have been mentioned in various rumors. There's already been speculation on right-handers Dan Straily and Brad Ziegler, second baseman Starlin Castro and others. In advance of the Deadline, Mattingly said the team has discussed what may be ahead.
"The biggest thing we've talked about is knowing that it's there, but just play the game and we'll deal with the off-field stuff," Mattingly said. "If there is anything going on with a guy that we know about, we'll talk with the guy."
• Tayron Guerrero (left lumbar strain) is starting a rehab assignment on Saturday with Double-A Jacksonville. He is scheduled to pitch one inning. Sandy Alcantara (right axillary infection) threw a 35-pitch bullpen session on Friday in Jupiter.
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.