The Texas Rangers today had three players selected to play for the American League in the 2013 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, which will take place on Tuesday, July 16 at Citi Field in New York.
The complete American and National League teams were announced today by Major League Baseball.
All three Rangers were selected by vote of the league's players, managers, and coaches: outfielder Nelson Cruz and right-handed pitcher Yu Darvish and Joe Nathan.
In addition, right-handed pitcher Tanner Scheppers was named as one of five pitchers in contention for the 34th and final spot on the American League team. That All-Star will be selected in on-line fan balloting in the 2013 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote sponsored by freecreditscore.com (#FinalVote) on texasrangers.com and mlb.com that begins at 6:00 p.m. CT today and concludes on Thursday, July 11 at 3:00 p.m. CT.
In addition to the web, fans can use their mobile phones to cast votes via the mobile web at MLB.com/vote or via text message. To receive the All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by freecreditscore.com mobile ballot, text the word "VOTE" to 89269. To vote for Scheppers, simply text A4 to 89269. Standard message and data rates may apply. Mobile voting in Canada also is available and fans should text A4 to 101010 to vote for Scheppers.
For the second consecutive year, the All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote will include a social balloting element as Twitter support from the 10 candidates' fans over the last six hours of balloting will count toward their final vote totals. From 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. (CDT) on Thursday, July 11, any tweet that includes #TakeTanner will be tabulated as part of the official vote total used to determine the American League and National League winners. Fans will be able to follow @MLB on the popular social networking service for the latest standings updates over the course of the entire five-day voting period.
Cruz, who placed third among outfielders in the player voting behind Mike Trout and Adam Jones, will be going to the All-Star Game for the second time after being selected to replace the injured Torii Hunter in 2009. The Rangers rightfielder did not play in the game at St. Louis' Busch Stadium but finished second to Prince Fielder in the All-Star Home Run Derby the previous night. Cruz is hitting .268 with 21 homers and 65 RBI in 83 games for the Rangers this season. He is tied for fourth in the A.L. in RBI and ranks fifth in home runs.
Darvish will be going to the All-Star Game for the second consecutive year after being selected as the 34th man in the 2012 All-Star Final Vote but did not pitch in last year's game at Kansas City. He placed fourth in the player voting among A.L. starting pitchers. The right-hander is 8-3 with a 2.78 ERA in 17 starts in 2013 and leads the major leagues with 151 strikeouts. His .190 opponents batting average ranks as second lowest in the majors. Darvish becomes the first Ranger to ever be selected as an All-Star in his first two major league seasons.
Nathan will be going to the All-Star Game for the sixth time, his second straight with Texas after representing the Minnesota Twins in 2004, 2005, 2008, and 2009. He pitched in all five of those games with a 1.80 ERA (1 ER/5.0) and four strikeouts while working a perfect second inning in 2012 at Kansas City. Nathan is 1-0, 1.43 with 28 saves in 29 opportunities over 39 appearances this season. He is tied for second in the A.L. in saves and save percentage (96.6%). He finished third in the player voting among A.L. relief pitchers.
Scheppers joins right-handed relievers Joaquin Benoit of Detroit, Steve Delabar of Toronto, David Robertson of New York, and Koji Uehara of Boston as the candidates for the A.L.'s final spot on the 13-man pitching staff. This marks the 4th time that the Rangers have had a player in the final All-Star roster spot on-line voting: Ian Kinsler in 2009, Michael Young in 2010, and Darvish in 2012. Scheppers is 5-1 with a 1.48 ERA in 41 appearances for the Rangers in 2013. He has the sixth lowest ERA among A.L. relievers, is tied for the league lead in relief wins, and is tied for fourth with 17 holds. He is seeking his first All-Star appearance.