Puig vying for final NL spot, Trout to start for AL
All-Star Game rosters were announced on Saturday, but baseball fans will have to wait and see if Los Angeles Dodgers phenom Yasiel Puig will be invited to the party.
Across town, Mike Trout, the Los Angeles Angels’ reigning Rookie of the Year, was voted to start in the American League outfield for the July 16 All-Star Game at Citi Field in New York, but he was the only member of the Angels or Dodgers to earn a starting spot.
Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw was named to the NL pitching staff for a third consecutive season.
But what about Puig? The Dodgers’ amazing rookie will have his fate left up to the fans through the Final Five Vote.
Fans have until Thursday to choose from five players — including Puig and Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez — for the final NL roster spot.
NL manager Bruce Bochy of the San Francisco Giants, had said he was reluctant to pick a player who hadn’t performed well over a longer period of time, and he kept his word. Now fans can go to MLB.com or their team’s website to vote for Puig, Gonzalez, Washington’s Ian Desmond, Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman or San Francisco’s Hunter Pence.
Trout was chosen as a reserve player last season and became the youngest player to collect a hit in an All-Star Game since Al Kaline in 1955. This time, Trout led all AL outfielders in voting, becoming the first Angel voted to start since Vladimir Guerrero in 2007.
Trout recovered from a slow opening month and started Saturday’s game against the Boston Red Sox hitting .314 with 13 home runs, 55 RBI and 45 extra-base hits.
Trout’s former Angels teammate, outfielder Torii Hunter, was picked as an AL reserve. Hunter signed a free-agent contract last winter with the Detroit Tigers.
Among the Angels who were left off the AL roster were second baseman Howie Kendrick, who ranks among the league leaders with a .317 batting average, and Mark Trumbo, who has 19 home runs.