ANAHEIM, Calif. — Angels outfielder Mike Trout will make his third-straight appearance in the MLB All-Star game, but he will likely be the only Angel in attendance.
Trout became the first Halo to make consecutive American League All-Star Team starts since Vladimir Guerrero made four straight from 2004-07 when the teams were announced Sunday afternoon. He was voted in by the fans receiving 5,559,705 and it’s not hard to see why: A .308 average with 20 home runs (sixth in the league) and 63 RBI (fifth in the league).
His accolades this season are astounding, regardless of his age (22) but that’s only par for the course. His manager, Mike Scioscia, called him a "slam dunk" and there might not be a more accurate assessment.
"It means a lot to be voted (by the fans) into the starting lineup and I can’t thank them enough," Trout said. "It’s always fun to go and perform in front of the whole country and be on the field with other great players."
While he will start for the AL squad, managed by the Boston Red Sox’s John Farrell, he will not participate in this year’s home run derby.
"Maybe I’ll get an opportunity later in my career to do it," he said. "But I just want to be able to go and enjoy it. I always had fun watching it growing up as a kid on TV. Being able to sit on the sidelines is pretty cool."
However, as of right now Trout is the lone representative for the Halos. Right-hander Garrett Richards may be joining Trout at Minnesota’s Target Field, but he’ll need some fan votes to help out, as he was named one of the AL Final Vote candidates by Farrell.
Shortstop Erick Aybar, who is having a strong year offensively and a phenomenal year defensively, was left off the roster as well. His exclusion came as a surprise to his team, which currently stands in second place in the AL West only 3.5 games behind the Oakland A’s – a team that landed seven players on the AL roster – and currently ranked fourth in league in average (.265) and runs (432).
"I thought Garrett was going to make it for sure," Trout said. "With 10 wins and a (2.81 ERA), we were definitely pulling for him and Aybar too, he’s having a great year. It would have been well-deserving for him to be here."
"I think as a whole, our team, we’re working toward that deep lineup on the offensive side," Scioscia said. "I think in the bullpen, there really hasn’t been a lot of candidates because we’ve been working to try and smooth things out for so long. I think if Joe Smith was closing for the whole year he might have had some numbers that would put him into that category.
"It’s not going to happen every year for every guy but I just think that obviously Mike is a slam dunk and he deserves it, and in my mind there is no doubt that Erick Aybar is an All-Star."
Richards is appreciative of the opportunity and the support of his teammates and fans but for the most part is unconcerned. He has bigger things on his mind: "I’ll take a World Series over an All-Star Game any day."