Mets and Yankees sending 10 players to All-Star Game
By Benjamin Hoffman
The New York Mets’ Pete Alonso, who has become something of a fixture at MLB’s All-Star week, will come off the bench for the National League in this year’s All-Star Game. Alonso, the two-time defending Home Run Derby champion, will be joined in Los Angeles by three of his Mets teammates and six players from the crosstown Yankees, who led all teams in total selections once the pitchers and reserves were announced Sunday.
Starters for the game, which will be held at Dodger Stadium on July 19, had previously been announced Friday, with Alonso finishing as the runner-up to Paul Goldschmidt of the St. Louis Cardinals in the fan balloting at first base for the NL.
Alonso, 27, has been a steady presence for a Mets offense that started this season well but has tailed off in recent weeks. He was batting a career-best .273 after Sunday’s 2-0 loss to the Miami Marlins, with an .881 on-base plus slugging percentage, 23 home runs and a league-leading 70 runs batted in.
Named as reserve for the NL in 2019, when he had 30 home runs at the All-Star break, Alonso went on to hit 53, winning the rookie of the year award and breaking Aaron Judge’s rookie home run record. In his first All-Star weekend, Alonso topped Vladimir Guerrero Jr. of the Toronto Blue Jays to win the Home Run Derby.
There was no All-Star Game during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, and although Alonso did not make the 2021 NL All-Star team, he was able to repeat as Home Run Derby champion anyway when he outlasted Trey Mancini of the Baltimore Orioles in Denver.
His consistency this season has been crucial for the Mets, who have ridden his bat and a solid pitching staff (despite numerous injuries) to the second-best record in the NL. In addition to Alonso, the team has three other All-Stars: second baseman Jeff McNeil, outfielder Starling Marte and closer Edwin Díaz.
The Yankees, who have the best record in the majors and have thrived in all aspects of the game, came into Sunday knowing that outfielders Giancarlo Stanton and Judge would start for the American League — the first time that Yankees outfielders have started an All-Star Game together since Rickey Henderson and Dave Winfield in 1988. They added four more All-Stars on Sunday: catcher Jose Trevino and pitchers Gerrit Cole, Néstor Cortés and Clay Holmes.
Holmes, acquired in a trade with Pittsburgh last July, has flourished for the Yankees thanks to his full embrace of a sinking two-seam fastball that had fallen out of favor for some teams but is being embraced by the Yankees. His emergence, along with breakout years from Trevino and Cortés, has helped power the Yankees’ incredible season. They are 61-25 after losing, 11-6, to the Boston Red Sox on Sunday.
Both the Mets and the Yankees could add more All-Stars once replacements are made for players who are unable to attend for various reasons. One strong candidate to be added is Taijuan Walker, a right-handed starter for the Mets, who is 7-2 with a 2.63 ERA in 15 starts. Walker was a late addition to last year’s All-Star team when he was chosen to replace Jacob deGrom, who was injured.
In addition to the typical starters and reserves, MLB included two legacy selections to this year’s rosters, with Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers representing the AL and Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals representing the NL. Both sluggers are nearing the ends of their careers and are considered locks for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Fans voted Philadelphia’s Bryce Harper as the starting designated hitter, but he had surgery to repair a thumb fracture last month, so Atlanta’s William Contreras will start instead. Contreras’ older brother Willson, a Chicago Cubs catcher, will also start.
Once an event dominated by the NL, the AL has won the contest eight straight times going back to 2013 and has gone 26-6-1 since 1988. Overall, the AL now leads the series 46-43-2.
Starters: Alejandro Kirk, TOR, C; Vladimir Guerrero Jr., TOR, 1B; José Altuve, HOU, 2B; Rafael Devers, BOS, 3B; Tim Anderson, CHW, SS; Giancarlo Stanton, NYY, OF; Mike Trout, LAA, OF; Aaron Judge, NYY, OF; Shohei Ohtani, LAA, DH
Starting pitchers: Shane McClanahan, TB; Néstor Cortés, NYY; Alek Manoah, TOR; Framber Valdez, HOU; Martín Pérez, TEX; Paul Blackburn, OAK; Justin Verlander, HOU; Gerrit Cole, NYY; Shohei Ohtani, LAA
Relievers: Clay Holmes, NYY; Emmanuel Clase, CLE; Gregory Soto, DET; Jorge López, BAL
Reserves: Yordan Alvarez, HOU, DH; Xander Bogaerts, BOS, SS; José Ramírez, CLE, 3B; José Trevino, NYY, C; Luis Arráez, MIN, 1B, Andrés Giménez, CLE, 2B; George Springer, TOR, OF; Byron Buxton, MIN, OF; Andrew Benintendi, KC, OF; Kyle Tucker, HOU, OF; Julio Rodríguez, SEA, OF
Legacy Pick: Miguel Cabrera, DET, DH
Starters: Willson Contreras, CHC, C; Paul Goldschmidt, STL, 1B; Jazz Chisholm Jr., MIA, 2B; Manny Machado, SDP, 3B; Trea Turner, LAD, SS; Joc Pederson, SFG, OF; Ronald Acuña Jr., ATL, OF; Mookie Betts, LAD, OF; Bryce Harper, PHI, DH
Starting pitchers: Clayton Kershaw, LAD; Sandy Alcántara, MIA; Corbin Burnes, MIL; Luis Castillo, CIN; Max Fried, ATL; Tony Gonsolin, LAD; Joe Musgrove, SDP
Relievers: Edwin Díaz, NYM; Josh Hader, MIL; Ryan Helsley, STL; David Bednar, PIT; Joe Mantiply, ARZ
Reserves: William Contreras, ATL, DH; Nolan Arenado, STL, 3B; Pete Alonso, NYM, 1B; Jeff McNeil, NYM, 2B; Travis d’Arnaud, ATL, C; C.J. Cron, COL, 1B; Dansby Swanson, ATL, SS; Kyle Schwarber, PHI, OF; Juan Soto, WAS, OF; Starling Marte, NYM, OF; Ian Happ, CHC, OF
Legacy Pick: Albert Pujols, STL, DH