KANSAS CITY, Mo. For the first time since 2003, the Royals placed multiple players on the All-Star Game roster as catcher Salvador Perez and left fielder Alex Gordon each were picked for the first time in their careers.
Perez and Gordon were not selected as starters in the fan voting, but each was voted in by the players, voting that accounts for 16 players on each league’s roster.
“It’s just a great honor,” Perez said. “I’m very happy.”
Gordon, who already has been awarded Gold Gloves the past two years, now has another honor to stack onto his growing resume.
“If you had told me three years ago I’d have Gold Gloves and an All-Star (appearance),” Gordon said. “I’m not sure I would have believed it. There have been a lot of ups and downs. But this just feels great and it’s especially rewarding to be picked by the players, your peers.”
The Royals last had multiple players on the All-Star Game in 2003 when Mike Sweeney and Mike MacDougal made the team.
This year, the Royals justifiably could have had three selections: Closer Greg Holland is having a phenomenal season with 20 saves in 22 chances with a 1.91 ERA.
“And you never know what might happen between now and the All-Star Game (July 16),” Royals manager Ned Yost said. “With pitchers you have that Sunday rule and there might be a need for more pitchers.
“(Holland) is very deserving, too. Other guys are as well.”
The All-Star Sunday rule stipulates that any pitcher who starts on the Sunday prior to the game will be replaced on the roster, and still be recognized as an All-Star.
Yost has been saying for two years that Perez, who is hitting .302 with four homers and 36 RBIs, would be an All-Star soon, and then continue to be an All-Star for perhaps for years to come.
“I’m not surprised at all,” Yost said. “Both Sal and Gordo are very deserving guys. Both are home-grown guys. And it’s always special when you get multiple guys on a team for your organization because it’s not the obligatory one guy for your team anymore.”
Gordon is hitting .290 with eight homers and 46 RBIs with a .351 on-base percentage.
“When Ned came out of the clubhouse and told us I would be going, I was just ecstatic,” Gordon said. “And then when he said I wouldn’t be going alone, that Sal was coming, too, that just made it so much better.”
Perez is the Royals’ first catcher to be selected to the team since 1980, when Darrell Porter went.
“I’m just so happy right now,” Perez said. “My mom has been here from Venezuela and she was going to go home tomorrow but she has to stay with me some more now.”
You can follow Jeffrey Flanagan on Twitter at @jflanagankc or email him at email@example.com