MLB All-Star Game reserves, pitchers: Pirates' Paul Skenes makes history with selection (2024)

The players, managers and coaches may not have been impressed enough to cast their All-Star votes for Pittsburgh Pirates rookie sensation Paul Skenes, or perhaps simply wanted to reward the veterans, but MLB officials stepped in Sunday and made sure Skenes and his 102-mph fastball will be in Arlington, Texas, for the 2024 All-Star Game, selecting him to be on the National League All-Star team.

Skenes technically replaces Phillies ace Zack Wheeler, who was selected to the All-Star Game, but will be ineligible to pitch in the game since he’s scheduled to pitch the final day before the break against the Oakland A’s.

Just like that, Skenes (5-0, 2.12 ERA, 78 strikeouts in 59 1/3 innings) becomes the first player in MLB history to become an All-Star in his first season after being the No. 1 pick in the amateur draft, and the first rookie pitcher in Pirates’ history to make the All-Star team. He also could wind up as the NL’s starting pitcher in the game since he’ll be on normal rest.

The players, managers and coaches opted for the veterans who have excelled the first half and not the rookies, voting for starters Tyler Glasnow of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chris Sale and Reynaldo Lopez of Atlanta, and starters Zack Wheeler and Ranger Suarez of the Philadelphia Phillies, but not Skenes or Cubs 30-year-old rookie Shota Imanaga. They chose relievers Jeff Hoffman and Matt Strahm of the Phillies, and Robert Suarez of the San Diego Padres.

The players and managers also did not vote for St. Louis Cardinals closer Ryan Helsley, who leads MLB with 31 saves, San Francisco Giants ace Logan Webb, or Cubs ace Shota Imanaga. They were selected to the All-Star Game by MLB officials, who also picked New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso, Giants center fielder Heliot Ramos and closer Tanner Scott of the Miami Marlins.

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The addition of Alonso assures the Home Run Derby of star power with Shohei Ohtani, Aaron Judge and Juan Soto declining to participate. Alonso, a two-time HR Derby champion, said he would participate only if he made the All-Star team.

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Nearly one-third of Philadelphia’s roster will be on hand for the July 16 All-Star Game at Arlington, Texas, with seven of their players voted in by the fans and fellow players. They’ll be represented by Bryce Harper, who will be making his first All-Star appearance in a Phillies uniform (Harper missed the 2022 All-Star Game with a broken thumb). Other Phillies making the roster include third baseman Alec Bohm, shortstop Trea Turner, starter Zack Wheeler (who will be inactive) and relievers Hoffman and Strahm.

The Dodgers have six players, including injured shortstop Mookie Betts: DH Shohei Ohtani, first baseman Freddie Freeman, catcher Will Smith, outfielder Teoscar Hernandez, and Glasnow.

Every first-place team this year is represented by at least two players except for the Seattle Mariners, whose lone All-Star is starter Logan Gilbert.

The Texas Rangers and Arizona Diamondbacks, who were in last year’s World Series and will have their managers and entire coaching staffs at the All-Star game, are represented by only three All-Stars: Shortstop Marcus Semien and closer Kirby Yates of the Rangers and second baseman Ketel Marte of the Diamondbacks.

Nearly half of the All-Star rosters are filled with 32 players making their All-Star team, including three on the Cleveland Guardians: First baseman Josh Naylor, outfielder Steven Kwan and DH David Fry. The Guardians have a league-leading five All-Stars, including third baseman Jose Ramirez and closer Emmanuel Clase.

The All-Star rosters feature 24 internationally-born players (35.8%), but with Betts being injured, there are only three Black active players on the All-Star teams: (Aaron Judge of the Yankees, Riley Greene of the Detroit Tigers and CJ Abrams of the Washington Nationals.

Four rookies were selected to the All-Star Game with San Diego Padres 21-year-old center fielder Jackson Merrill being the youngest, along with Oakland A’s closer Mason Miller, Imanaga and Skenes. Merrill is the first rookie in Padres history to make the All-Star Game, while Imanaga is the first Cubs’ rookie pitcher to make it.

The AL players chosen in the player balloting were Royals catcher Salvador Perez and shortstop Bobby Witt Jr., Naylor, Texas Rangers shortstop Marcus Semien, third baseman Rafael Devers and outfielder Jarren Duran of the Boston Red Sox, Greene, injured Houston Astros outfielder Kyle Tucker and Fry. They also voted in pitchers Corbin Burnes of the Baltimore Orioles, Tarik Skubal of the Detroit Tigers, Garrett Crochet of the Chicago White e Sox, Seth Lugo of the Royals, Tanner Houck of the Red Sox, Kirby Yates of the Texas Rangers, Clase and Miller.

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MLB officials used four of their six picks in the AL to assure that each team is represented, and selected starter Tyler Anderson of the Los Angeles Angels and Gilbert of the Mariners, Carlos Correa of the Minnesota Twins and Isaac Parades of the Tampa Bay Rays. MLB also selected Yankees closer Clay Holmes and Royals starter Cole Ragans.

In the NL, players chose the five Dodgers, with Ohtani winning the fan balloting; two-time hitting champion Luis Arraez of the Padres, Atlanta DH Marcell Ozuna, third baseman Ryan McMahon of the Colorado Rockies, Merrill of the Padres, and Bryan Reynolds of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Cincinnati Reds shortstop Elly De La Cruz received the second-most votes among shortstops and will replace Betts. They also selected pitchers Chris Sale and Reynaldo Lopez of Atlanta, Suarez and Wheeler, Glasnow, Robert Suarez of the Padres and Hoffman and Strahm.

MLB’s six NL selections all were used to assure that every team was represented with the fans and players not selecting anyone from the Mets, Giants, Cardinals, Cubs, Marlins or Nationals.

The biggest snubs, at least for now, are headlined by Diamondbacks first baseman Christian Walker (22 homers, 64 RBI, .857 OPS), Orioles outfielder Anthony Santander (23 homers, 57 RBI, .810 OPS), Orioles infielder Jordan Westburg (.284, 14 homers, .842 OPS), Astros starter Ronel Blanco (8-3, 2.53 ERA), Yankees rookie starter Luis Gil (9-4, 3.41 ERA), Rangers third baseman Josh Smith (.293, .837 OPS), Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor (.250, 15 homers, .763 OPS), Cardinals rookie shortstop Masyn Winn (.294, .760 OPS), Rockies shortstop Ezequiel Tovar (12 homers, .736 OPS), A’s outfielder Brent Rooker (18 homers, 54 RBI, .888 OPS), Brewers second baseman Brice Turang (.290, .761 OPS), Mariners starter George Kirby (7-6,3.22 ERA), Orioles reliever Craig Kimbrell (5-2, 22 saves, 2.16 ERA), National starter Jake Irvin (7-6, 2.80 ERA), Atlanta reliever Jesse Chavez (1.67 ERA), Cubs starter James Taillon (5-4, 2.99 ERA.) and Padres third baseman Manny Machado (.12 homers, 50 RBI, .742 OPS).

Yet, there are always plenty of late All-Star additions with injuries and players declining to play, increasing the total of 67 All-Stars to about 80 by game time.

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MLB All-Star Game reserves, pitchers: Pirates' Paul Skenes makes history with selection (2024)
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