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Tanaka selected as All-Star, joins AL staff

@Sportsgal25
July 9, 2019

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Yankees gained another All-Star on Saturday when Masahiro Tanaka was selected to join the American League pitching staff. “I think [my reaction] was similar to how everybody else … reacted,” Tanaka said with a smile through a translator. “Pretty surprised. “This time around, I get to

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Yankees gained another All-Star on Saturday when Masahiro Tanaka was selected to join the American League pitching staff.

“I think [my reaction] was similar to how everybody else … reacted,” Tanaka said with a smile through a translator. “Pretty surprised.

“This time around, I get to actually go there and be part of the celebration, so all in all, I’m very happy about it.”

All-Star Game presented by Mastercard: Tonight, 7:30 p.m. ET on FOX

Tanaka will fill in for Toronto’s Marcus Stroman, who bowed out of the Midsummer Classic with what the Blue Jays deemed a cramped left shoulder pectoral. His selection gives New York five All-Star representatives for next week’s festivities, including Gary Sánchez, DJ LeMahieu, Aroldis Chapman and Gleyber Torres, who was added on Thursday.

Tanaka was chosen as an All-Star during his rookie season in 2014, but he was diagnosed with a UCL sprain in his left elbow shortly prior and opted to begin rehabbing the injury immediately. The righty is 5-5 this season with a 3.86 ERA.

That Tanaka has achieved All-Star status despite a decrease in the effectiveness of his previously devastating splitter, Yankees manager Aaron Boone said, is a testament to his starter’s commitment and skill.

“I think it just shows how good at his craft he is,” Boone said. “He’s been searching for stuff throughout the year. Time and time again, more often than not, he’s gone out and delivered, and one of the big reasons we are in the position here in the first half is a guy like Masa that’s gone out more often than not and pitched really well for us.”

The All-Star Game presented by Mastercard will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 180 countries. FOX Deportes will provide Spanish-language coverage in the United States, while ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage. MLB Network, MLB.com and SiriusXM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage.

Bombers bits
The Yankees selected the contract of left-hander Daniel Camarena from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre prior to Saturday’s game against the Rays as New York attempted to pad its depleted bullpen after back-to-back extra-inning games in St. Petersburg.

Camarena was 3-3 with a 6.00 ERA in 11 games (10 starts) this season at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. The 26-year-old was drafted by the Yankees in the 20th round of the 2011 MLB Draft.

In a corresponding transaction, Mike Ford was optioned to Triple-A. Ford, 27, was hitting .200 (6-for-30) off the bench in 11 games for New York.

On this day in Yankees history
1933: Babe Ruth hits the first home run during the first All-Star Game in MLB history -- a two-run shot off Bill Hallahan -- and leads the AL to a 4-2 victory at Comiskey Park.

Dawn Klemish is a reporter/editor for MLB.com based in Tampa. Follow her on Twitter @Sportsgal25.