Ohtani, Trout named All-Star Game starters
NEW YORK -- Angels superstars Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout on Thursday were named as starters for the 2021 All-Star Game at Colorado's Coors Field on July 13, although Trout won't be able to play in the game because of a right calf strain.
It marks the ninth All-Star game selection for Trout and the first for Ohtani, who was a five-time All-Star in Japan from 2013-17 before joining the Angels in '18. Trout was voted in as an All-Star Game starter for eight straight seasons from 2012-19 before the '20 edition was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Trout was the leading vote-getter among American League outfielders, while Ohtani outpaced the competition at designated hitter. The Angels are also open to letting Ohtani pitch in the game as well, even after he competes in the T-Mobile Home Run Derby on Monday, July 12.
"I'm all for him pitching and hitting in that game," Angels manager Joe Maddon said. "He'd only pitch one inning and probably only get one at-bat. Let him hit and pitch. People want to see that. It's good for baseball."
Ohtani has been nothing short of incredible this season, as he's been doing things nobody has done since Babe Ruth 100 years ago. Ohtani, 26, is slashing .277/.360/.685 with 28 homers, 17 doubles, four triples, 11 stolen bases, 55 runs and 63 RBIs in 75 games. His 28 homers lead the Majors, as he's been on a tear recently with 11 homers over his last 14 games and tied a club record with 13 in June.
“It is a pretty big milestone. I want the team to win first, that's the main priority for me,” Ohtani said. “But as long as I'm performing and helping the team win, I felt like it should come natural for me to get selected as an All-Star. And that happened. I'm very happy.”
He's also gone 3-1 with a 3.60 ERA and 83 strikeouts in 60 innings pitched, although he saw his ERA jump from 2.58 after being charged with seven runs while recording two outs against the Yankees on Wednesday.
Trout, 29, was off to one of the best starts of his illustrious career, as he was slashing .333/.466/.624 with eight homers, eight doubles and 18 RBIs in 36 games before suffering a strained right calf while running the bases on May 17. Trout was placed on the 60-day injured list Monday, which means he won't be eligible to return until after the All-Star break on July 17.
“It's obviously an unbelievable honor to represent the Angels and the American League,” Trout said. “Just going there, it's a blast. You're competing with the best around the league.”
It's the second time he's missed the Midsummer Classic due to injury, as he was also out in 2017 with a torn ligament in his left thumb. Trout is 7-for-17 with two doubles, two homers and four RBIs while playing in six All-Star games in his career. He was the All-Star Game MVP in both 2014 and '15.
“I don't know the status of it yet,” Trout said. “Obviously, I can't play, but I haven't made the decision if I'm going or not. The most important thing is getting back on the field, and if it's staying back [in Anaheim] and rehabbing, that's what I'll do. I haven't made the decision yet.”
The 91st Midsummer Classic will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 180 countries. During the game, fans may visit MLB.com and the 30 club sites to submit their choices for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. 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. For more information about MLB All-Star Week, including ticket information and updates, please visit AllStarGame.com and follow @MLB and @AllStarGame on social media.