Judge, Cor­rea among dozen first-time all-star starters

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - By Ron­ald Blum

NEW YORK» Aaron Judge, Car­los Cor­rea and Nolan Are­nado led a new gen­er­a­tion of all-stars, among 12 first-time starters elected by fans for the July 11 Al­lS­tar Game at Mar­lins Park.

“I’ve got to call my fam­ily and tell them to book a flight to Mi­ami. They’re go­ing to be ex­cited,” Judge said af­ter ros­ters were an­nounced Sun­day.

The dozen first-time starters are the most since vot­ing was re­turned to fans in 1970.

Just one player was picked from the World Se­ries cham­pion Cubs: re­liever Wade Davis, who wasn’t with Chicago when it ended a 108-year ti­tle drought last fall. The Cubs had seven all-stars last sea­son, in­clud­ing their en­tire start­ing in­field.

“We haven’t had many guys who were all that de­serv­ing,” said Cubs pitcher Jake Ar­ri­eta.

Just past the half­way point, the Cubs are 41-41.

“Maybe this is actually a good thing. Right now, rest is not a bad word,” said Chicago’s Joe Mad­don, who will man­age the NL.

In a sign of the gen­er­a­tional change, the all-stars with the most se­lec­tions are Los An­ge­les Dodgers pitcher Clay­ton Ker­shaw with eight and St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina with seven. Detroit’s Miguel Cabr­era, the se­nior all-star last year with 11 se­lec­tions, wasn’t picked for the first time since 2009.

Two of the first-time starters are from the Hous­ton Astros, who have the best record in the ma­jor leagues: Cor­rea, the short­stop drafted first over­all in 2012, and out­fielder Ge­orge Springer. Sec­ond base­man Jose Al­tuve was elected to his third start.

“It’s some­thing you dream about since you are a kid, since you get drafted, since you sign a pro­fes­sional con­tract,” Cor­rea said.

Hous­ton pitch­ers Dal­las Keuchel and Lance McCullers Jr. were picked, as well, giv­ing the Astros five all-stars, tied for the most with the New York Yan­kees, Cleve­land and Wash­ing­ton. Keuchel is hurt and won’t pitch.

Na­tion­als out­fielder Bryce Harper, sec­ond base­man Daniel Murphy and first base­man Ryan Zim­mer­man were elected to start, and Max Scherzer and Stephen Stras­burg were se­lected for the pitch­ing staff. Harper led fan vot­ing with 4.63 million bal­lots.

“Hum­bled by fans, the way they treat me,” Harper said.

At 32, Zim­mer­man is an all-star for the first time since 2009.

Judge, the 6-foot-7 rookie who leads the ma­jor leagues with 27 home runs, topped the AL with 4.49 million votes. He is joined in the out­field by Springer and Los An­ge­les An­gels star Mike Trout, who hopes to re­turn in time from a torn thumb lig­a­ment.

There were 11 first-time starters last sea­son in San Diego, the fi­nal time the win­ning league re­ceived home-field ad­van­tage in the World Se­ries. Un­der base­ball’s new la­bor con­tract, the World Se­ries now starts in the ball­park of the pen­nant win­ner with the bet­ter record.

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