Burnes earns 4th straight All-Star nod to round out O's trio

July 7th, 2024

OAKLAND -- There’s only one word can use to describe 2024 thus far: “Whirlwind.”

A Feb. 1 trade sent him from Milwaukee (the only MLB organization he had played for) to Baltimore. June 28 brought the birth of his twin daughters, Charlotte and Harper. And now, Sunday delivered news that Burnes has been named an All-Star for the fourth consecutive year.

Burnes became the third Orioles player headed to the 2024 Midsummer Classic, joining catcher and shortstop , who were both named starters via fan voting. The 29-year-old right-hander joined the American League roster via player voting.

The All-Star Game is set for July 16 (8 p.m. ET, FOX) at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas.

“It's been a little crazy, going back to really February,” Burnes said. “I'm excited to be a part of an All-Star Game, honored to represent the Orioles and the American League. It's an exciting time. It's an exciting time of the year to join the teammates that have already been elected to the All-Star Game. To join them is pretty special.”

In the days leading up to the announcement of the All-Star rosters, Burnes had been contemplating whether he would attend the event, which comes less than three weeks after the birth of his daughters. However, he has been encouraged by his wife, Brooke, to go.

“I'll see what the final decision is in the next day or so. But if I do go, definitely honored to be a part of it. It's a fun week,” Burnes said. “It's kind of one of those you never know when it's going to be your last. So I understand my wife's sentiments on me having to go to the game.”

Burnes is among the top candidates to start for the AL, as the 2021 National League Cy Young Award winner has been as good as advertised during the first half of his first season with the O’s.

Through 18 starts, Burnes recorded a 2.32 ERA that ranked second in the AL entering Sunday, behind only Kansas City’s Seth Lugo (2.21). The Orioles’ ace owns a 1.02 WHIP with 105 strikeouts in 112 2/3 innings.

“Right now, for me, he’s the best pitcher in the league. He definitely deserves it,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “He’s been an unbelievable starter for us and definitely deserves to be there.”

Burnes has brought consistency to a Baltimore rotation that lost three starters to season-ending UCL surgeries in June (Kyle Bradish, John Means and Tyler Wells). He has allowed two or fewer earned runs in 14 of his outings, and he’s given up more than three only once -- June 22 in Houston, where he yielded four over seven innings.

From April 26 to June 16, Burnes strung together a career-long streak of 10 straight quality starts.

“Corbin’s been our leader this year. I think me and a lot of the other guys have learned a lot from him,” fellow right-hander Grayson Rodriguez said. “That was one big thing about getting him here, is how much better he’s going to make the clubhouse. I really think he’s helped our rotation, not just on the field, but mentally. I think baseball is a mental game, and to be able to have a mindset to go out there and compete every fifth day, I think he’s kind of showing us the ropes for that.”

If Burnes is chosen by Rangers manager Bruce Bochy to be the AL’s starting pitcher in the All-Star Game, it would make for an all-Orioles battery also featuring Rutschman.

“That’d be awesome,” Burnes said. “If I’m given the chance to start, that’d be great. Obviously, never done it before. Not very many guys get the opportunity to start an All-Star Game, so that would be really cool, and to have Adley back there would make it even better.”

No Baltimore pitcher has started an All-Star Game since Steve Stone in 1980. Jim Palmer ('70, '72, '77 and '78) and Milt Pappas ('65) also had the honor while pitching for the O’s.

Burnes is the first Orioles starting pitcher to be selected as an All-Star since John Means in 2019, when the left-hander was the club’s lone honoree. Baltimore will be sending at least three players to the All-Star Game for the second consecutive year after having four in ‘23 (Rutschman, outfielder Austin Hays and right-handers Félix Bautista and Yennier Cano).

Although Burnes entered his first season with the Orioles on a three-year All-Star streak (2021, '22 and '23 for the Brewers), he didn’t know if the run would continue in '24. That said, he remains confident in what he’s capable of.

“I never expect to be an All-Star. You never expect to put up good results,” Burnes said. “For me, it’s going out and putting my work in to try to do the best I can. I know I’ve got a pretty good process and the stuff to do it, so it’s just a matter of going out and executing every time I go out there.

“Fortunately enough, this year, we’ve been able to do that just about every time we go out. So it’s been a special season so far.”