ST. LOUIS -- For the second straight year, Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen and closer Joel Hanrahan have been named All-Stars. Both were named reserves to the National League team on the MLB All-Star Selection Show presented by Taco Bell on Sunday afternoon, and both are All-Stars for the second time in their careers.
The two were voted in by their peers, with McCutchen placing fourth in the player balloting, with 432 votes, and Hanrahan third among NL relievers, with 106.
"That's obviously a big honor, that means that everybody in the league knows what's going on here in Pittsburgh," Hanrahan said. "They see what we're doing, and it's obviously fun to get selected by your peers. It just means that the Pirates are heading in the right direction again."
Heading into Sunday's games, McCutchen was fifth in the Major Leagues with a .346 average and tied for fourth with 97 hits. His 51 RBIs also ranked sixth in the NL, while his 15 homers were tied for seventh-most. All 15 of his homers this season have come since May 8, tied for third-most in the Majors over that span. He also ranked in the top 10 in the big leagues in OPS (.993) and slugging percentage (.593).
McCutchen, who sat out Sunday's 5-4 loss to the Cardinals after spraining his left wrist Saturday, has been one of the hottest players in baseball as of late. His 26 RBIs in June ranked second in the NL. He was also tied for second in homers (seven) and fourth in batting average (.370).
McCutchen was added to the 2011 All-Star team only after Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun dropped out. McCutchen said the achievement is much sweeter this time around.
"Well, last year I wasn't even supposed to go, so ... definitely wasn't expecting to go last year at all, and then a couple of people got hurt, and the next thing you know I'm out there and I'm on the team," McCutchen said. "This year, I didn't really have to go through that, so it's definitely a lot different. It feels like it's more deserving than last year, and it definitely feels good just to go out and to be on the team."
Hanrahan was tied for sixth in the Majors with 20 saves in 31 games and owns a 2.10 ERA.
The drive from Hanrahan's hometown of Norwalk, Iowa, is less than three hours from Kansas City, and he expects to have a good group of family and friends in attendance. Hanrahan said while it's difficult to prepare for the atmosphere of an All-Star Game, having been there last year will be beneficial for both himself and McCutchen.
"It's a great experience to know what you're kind of getting into," Hanrahan said. "Last year, Cutch and I both didn't know what was going on, just kind of running all over the place. We'll have a better idea, and it will be an exciting time."
McCutchen went 0-for-1 in one at-bat in the 2011 All-Star Game, and Hanrahan threw one-third of an inning while striking out one in last year's contest.
The 83rd Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. Pregame ceremonies begin at 7:30 p.m. (EDT)/6:30 p.m. (CDT). ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage. MLB Network, MLB.com and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Game coverage.
Fans will also have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player presented by Chevrolet via the 2012MLB.com All-Star Game MVP Vote during the All-Star Game on MLB.com.
Pirates starters A.J. Burnett and James McDonald, both regarded as possible All-Star selections, were not chosen.
Burnett's nine wins were tied for fourth-most in the Major Leagues. He's holding opposing hitters to a .235 average and owns a 3.31 ERA. Burnett has never been named an All-Star in 12 years of big league service while winning at least 10 games nine times.
McDonald ranked in the top 10 in the Majors in WHIP (0.98), ERA (2.44) and opponents' batting average (.200). He hasn't allowed more than four runs in any of his 15 starts, has allowed one earned run or fewer in nine appearances, and has struck out at least 10 twice.
Hanrahan said he was shocked to have been selected over Burnett and McDonald. But as Pirates manager Clint Hurdle noted, picking pitchers for an All-Star team is no easy task for an All-Star Game manager.
"When you're tied to it, for every man that takes this upon them it's a challenge," Hurdle said. "They're trying to do the right things and make the right decisions, and it doesn't matter what decisions are made, at the end of the day, there will be guys that are deserving that probably won't be on it."
There's still a chance for the two to be selected. More pitchers will likely be chosen later in the week to take the spots of pitchers already named to the All-Star roster who will not be available to pitch in the All-Star Game.
Like Hanrahan, McCutchen would like to see at least one more ticket punched to Kansas City from the Pittsburgh clubhouse.
"Other guys deserve going as well, and the voting is not over," McCutchen said. "So I hope we can get a couple other guys to get on there with us."