Derek Jeter will be in the spotlight for perhaps the final time when he starts at shortstop for the American League in the All-Star Game.
The New York Yankees captain, who is retiring following the season, heads the AL squad for the July 17 game in Minneapolis. Jeter will appear in his 14th All-Star Game, and he will start for the ninth time.
Only six other players started at least nine All-Star Games for the AL: Cal Ripken Jr. (17), George Brett (11), Ken Griffey Jr. (10), Rod Carew, Ichiro Suzuki and Ivan Rodriguez (nine apiece).
Fans overlooked Jeter's subpar statistics this season (.273 average, .323 on-base percentage, .328 slugging percentage, two homers, 23 RBIs) to give him a runaway win at voting over Chicago White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez and Baltimore Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy. Jeter garnered 3.9 million votes to 2.8 million for Ramirez and 2.1 million for Hardy.
The leading overall vote-getter in fan balloting was the Toronto Blue Jays' Jose Bautista at 5.9 million. Bautista will be joined in the AL outfield by the Los Angeles Angels' Mike Trout and the Orioles' Adam Jones.
The starting AL infield consists of Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera, Seattle Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano, Jeter and Oakland A's third baseman Josh Donaldson. Injured Orioles catcher Matt Wieters was selected to a starting position. He will be replaced in the lineup by the Kansas City Royals' Salvador Perez.
The Orioles' Nelson Cruz, who received a 50-game suspension last year for his involvement in the Biogenesis performance-enhancing-drug scandal, was elected as the AL's designated hitter.
The Milwaukee Brewers are the only NL team with two players voted as starters: third baseman Aramis Ramirez and outfielder Carlos Gomez. Rounding out the NL infield are Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Chase Utley and Colorado Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki.
Tulowitzki was the leading NL vote-getter.
Andrew McCutchen, the Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder who is the reigning NL Most Valuable Player, and second-year Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig complete the NL outfield.
Donaldson and Puig are the only starters who will be appearing in their first All-Star Game.
Two Oakland players lost the tightest voting races, with catcher Derek Norris trailing Wieters by less than 12,000 votes and outfielder Yoenis Cespedes finishing less than 74,000 votes behind Jones.
The National League pitching staff is headed by two-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers. The left-hander is riding a streak of 36 consecutive scoreless innings. His teammate, right-hander Zack Greinke, also made the staff.
The remaining NL starting pitchers are the St. Louis Cardinals' Adam Wainwright, the Cincinnati Reds' Johnny Cueto, the San Francisco Giants' Madison Bumgarner, the San Diego Padres' Tyson Ross, and the Washington Nationals' Jordan Zimmermann. The Atlanta Braves' Julio Teheran will replace right-hander Jeff Samardzija, who was voted to the NL team as a member of the Chicago Cubs before he was dealt to the A's on Saturday.
The NL bullpen will consist of the Brewers' Francisco Rodriguez, the Reds' Aroldis Chapman, the Atlanta Braves' Craig Kimbrel, the Pirates' Tony Watson, and the Cardinals' Pat Neshek.
Yankees rookie right-hander Masahiro Tanaka heads the AL pitching staff. Other starters on the squad are the Detroit Tigers' Max Scherzer, the Seattle Mariners' Felix Hernandez, the Texas Rangers' Yu Darvish, the Tampa Bay Rays' David Price, the Boston Red Sox's Jon Lester, the Blue Jays' Mark Buehrle and the Athletics' Scott Kazmir.
In the AL bullpen are Oakland's Sean Doolittle, the Minnesota Twins' Glen Perkins, the Royals' Greg Holland and the Yankees' Dellin Betances.
The AL reserves are Norris and the Twins' Kurt Suzuki; White Sox rookie Jose Abreu, Detroit's Victor Martinez, Toronto's Edwin Encarnacion and Oakland's Brandon Moss at first base; the Houston Astros' Jose Altuve at second base; Alexei Ramirez at shortstop; Texas' Adrian Beltre at third base; and Cespedes, Kansas City's Alex Gordon and Cleveland's Michael Brantley in the outfield.
The NL bench consists of catchers Jonathan Lucroy of the Brewers and Devin Mesoraco of the Reds; Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman; second basemen Daniel Murphy of the Mets and Dee Gordon of the Dodgers; Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro; third baseman Matt Carpenter of the Cardinals and Todd Frazier of the Reds; and outfielders Giancarlo Stanton of the Marlins, Josh Harrison of the Pirates, Hunter Pence of the Giants and Charlie Blackmon of the Rockies.
Stanton will be the NL's starting designated hitter.
The A's, who own baseball's best record, lead all teams with six All-Stars -- and that doesn't include Samardzija. It is the highest total for Oakland since seven A's were All-Stars in 1975. The Brewers, Cardinals, Dodgers and Reds are tied for the NL lead with four All-Stars.
One additional player will be added to each team's roster based on results of an online vote.
The players up for the NL Final Vote are Marlins third baseman Casey McGehee, Rockies first baseman Justin Morneau, Nationals third baseman Anthony Rendon, Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo and Braves outfielder Justin Upton. The AL Final Vote nominees are Astros left-hander Dallas Keuchel, Indians right-hander Corey Kluber, Angels right-hander Garrett Richards, Tigers right-hander Rick Porcello and White Sox left-hander Chris Sale.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun