Buehler, Turner added to NL All-Star roster

Betts decides not to play in ASG to rest following injuries earlier this season

July 11th, 2021

LOS ANGELES -- After the Dodgers did not have any players voted in as starters for the 2021 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard, they've ended up with five representatives on the National League roster. Right-hander Walker Buehler and third baseman Justin Turner were among the players added as reserve replacements on Saturday.

Buehler and Turner will join first baseman Max Muncy and outfielder Chris Taylor, along with manager Dave Roberts and the rest of the Dodgers' coaching staff, in Denver for the Midsummer Classic on Tuesday. Outfielder Mookie Betts was selected via player balloting for his fifth career All-Star selection, but he announced Saturday that he won't be playing due to previous injuries.

“I think it's just something that I think is going to be best for myself, which in turn is going to help the team,” Betts said. "What the decision really is about is just myself and the Dodgers.”

Betts has battled through numerous injuries during the first half of the season. He hasn't ended up on the injured list, but he's missed some games, mostly due to back ailments.

Betts decided that four days off will benefit both him and the Dodgers in the long run. Los Angeles concludes its series against Arizona on Sunday, then doesn't return to play until Friday at Colorado.

"There's just no break in baseball, and this is the only time I’ll ever get a break of more than a day. I just want to use it to the best that I can,” Betts said. “I would love to be in the All-Star Game, but I think we all know that the goal is to win a World Series. I think this break will definitely help me to help [the Dodgers] get to that point.”

Roberts, who will be the NL manager for the Midsummer Classic, supported Betts' decision to miss the game.

"As a manager, I am happy that he was very honest with himself and wanted to take care of himself, which in turn is the case here of the Dodgers, because it's not an easy decision,” Roberts said. “He's one of the faces of baseball and you feel like you're letting fans down, and he values his fans as much as anyone.”

Roberts will have two additional Dodgers players available to use in the All-Star Game, though. Buehler and Turner are each heading to the Midsummer Classic for the second time.

“Being able to go and represent the National League and represent the Dodgers as an All-Star is amazing, honestly,” Turner said. “You look at the history of this organization, all the great players that come through -- to be able to wear a Dodger uniform and participate in the All-Star Game is something that’s pretty special.”

Turner is hitting .308/.395/.504 with 15 homers and 49 RBIs through 83 games. He credited his offseason work and a new diet for the success during his age-36 season.

Buehler, who tossed six scoreless innings in Saturday's 22-1 win over the D-backs, is 9-1 with a 2.36 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP in 114 1/3 innings over 18 starts.

"Not having anyone [voted as a starter] was disappointing to everyone in the room,” Turner said. "But now that it's still shaking out, at least five guys going, I think it is a good representation of the team that we have in here.”