Kershaw, Jansen and Seager named All-Stars
LOS ANGELES -- Injured ace Clayton Kershaw, record-setting closer Kenley Jansen and shortstop phenom Corey Seager will represent the Dodgers in the 2016 All-Star Game presented by MasterCard in San Diego, it was announced on Tuesday. All three were elected by player ballot.
Kershaw, who won't pitch because he's on the disabled list with a herniated disk in his back, was named for the sixth consecutive year, the most honors for a Dodgers pitcher since Fernando Valenzuela (1981-86).
It is the first All-Star selection for Jansen, who supplanted Eric Gagne as the club's all-time saves leader last month, and Seager, the club's youngest position player All-Star and first Dodgers rookie shortstop All-Star since Billy Grabarkewitz in 1970.
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On Tuesday, July 12, watch the 2016 All-Star Game presented by MasterCard live on FOX, and during the game visit MLB.com to submit your choice for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet via the 2016 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote. The 87th All-Star Game, in San Diego, will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 160 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB.com, MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.
Kershaw, 28, finished first overall in the player vote and said he would participate in the festivities, even though he won't play. He had been a prime contender for a fourth Cy Young Award until last week, when he went on the disabled list after his second loss of the year. He still leads the National League in ERA, shutouts, opponents' batting average and is among league leaders in wins, complete games, innings pitched, strikeouts and win percentage. He is on pace to obliterate the MLB record with a 16.11 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
With former NL All-Star closers Aroldis Chapman and Craig Kimbrel now in the American League, the 28-year-old Jansen finally is recognized after becoming the first Dodgers pitcher with five 20-save seasons. He is the club's first All-Star reliever since Jonathan Broxton in 2010. The Curacao native and converted catcher can be a free agent after this season, and there have been no known negotiations on an extension.
"It definitely means a lot," said Jansen. "Everybody has their own opinion, and the last two years I just got overshadowed by a couple guys. You can't worry about that and now I finally have that chance, I'm happy to be a part of it. The last week it started to get in my mind; [I] just got anxious whether I was going to make it or not. Now finally they announced the winner and it's a blessing to be a part of it."
Seager, 22, said he would participate in the Home Run Derby if asked. He went into Tuesday night's play with a career-high 17-game hitting streak, the longest in the NL this year and third longest ever for a Dodgers rookie. With 17 home runs, he's only two shy of Hanley Ramirez's single-season record for a Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop.
"I didn't know how to react. I don't think it set in yet," said Seager, who called his brother, Kyle, Seattle's third baseman and a former AL All-Star, shortly after being told he was in. "My brother is really proud, excited for me. It was really awesome to go tell him that."
Seager said there is extra satisfaction in being an All-Star shortstop, because skeptics have insisted he would outgrow the position.
"Since the day I signed, I've been told I'd move to third base," Seager said. "It's always been, not a chip on my shoulder, but the drive. They haven't seen you play and already you're getting written off. Now that it's there, I can celebrate that hard work."
The June NL Rookie of the Month leads the club in games played, average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, runs scored, hits, home runs, doubles, RBIs and multihit games. Seager is the Dodgers' first All-Star shortstop since Rafael Furcal in 2010. He finished third in fan voting behind starter Addison Russell of the Cubs and Trevor Story of the Rockies.