Frazier, Mesoraco, Chapman, Cueto named NL All-Stars
CINCINNATI — Four Reds have been selected to the National League All-Star team, Major League Baseball announced Sunday night, including three first-time selections.
Third baseman Todd Frazier, catcher Devin Mesoraco and pitchers Johnny Cueto and Aroldis Chapman were all named to the squad. This is the third consecutive selection for Chapman but the first time for Frazier, Mesoraco and Cueto.
The All-Star game is scheduled to be played July 15 at Target Field in Minneapolis.
This is the fifth year in a row the Reds have had at least three players named to the All-Star team.
Frazier, Chapman and Cueto were named to the team by player voting, while NL manager Mike Matheny of St. Louis selected Mesoraco for the team.
Matheny is a former catcher and that gave added meaning for Mesoraco.
"He knows who belongs and who doesn’t as far as catchers go with him being as good of a catcher and a leader as he was," said Mesoraco. "I think that definitely means a lot."
Mesoraco missed time because of two stints on the disabled list in the first six weeks of the season but still leads the Reds with a .317 batting average to go along with a .379 on-base percentage and a .634 slugging percentage after going 3-for-4 in Sunday’s 4-2 win against Milwaukee. He’s hit 15 home runs, 13 doubles and driven in 42 runs in his first season as the full-time starter.
Frazier leads the Reds with 17 home runs and 47 RBI and is second to Mesoraco in batting average (.291) and slugging percentage (.500). He had a pair of hits against the Brewers on Sunday, his 26th multi-hit game of the season. Frazier leads all NL third basemen in home runs, slugging, stolen bases (13) and extra base hits (34). He’s fourth in the NL among third basemen with a .971 fielding percentage.
This is Frazier’s third season in the major leagues, his second as the full-time starter at third base.
"You think back to those days where sometimes it’s ‘what am I doing here?’ where some days are better than others and you’re on 14-hour bus rides," said Frazier. "You really don’t have any words. It’s just awesome to see that hard work pays off in any job or profession you do. The harder you work hopefully good things come from it."
There have been comparisons in the past linking Frazier to former Reds third baseman Scott Rolen, who was in the clubhouse during Frazier’s rookie season of 2012. Frazier will accept those comparisons any day of the week.
"I basically just watched (Rolen), watched what he did and watched how he went about his business. That’s somebody I look up to for sure," said Frazier. "Scott Rolen is one of the best there is. If you don’t look up to him and you’re a third baseman you’ve got problems."
Cueto’s numbers are good enough that he should be under consideration to start the game but if all goes as planned this week Cueto would pitch next Sunday against Pittsburgh in the last game prior to the All-Star break. That would likely remove him from pitching in the All-Star game. Cueto’s record might only be 8-6 but he has a 1.99 ERA, which is second to Adam Wainwright of St. Louis, and leads the NL with 131 1/3 innings pitched. He has a pair of shutouts among his three complete games and he leads the NL with an opponent’s batting average of .176.
Chapman has come back from a horrific injury in spring training to record 17 saves. He has appeared in 24 games, finishing 20 of them, and has allowed just 12 hits in 24 2/3 innings while striking out 47 batters and walking just eight. He has a strikeout in every appearance this season and in 36 straight appearances dating back to last season. He’s struck out multiple batters 17 times this season and has struck out the side in an inning five times.
Chapman missed the first six weeks of the season after requiring surgery to insert a titanium plate and repair multiple fractures on his skull above his left eye and nasal region caused by a line drive off the bat of Kansas City catcher Salvador Perez in a Cactus League game on March 19. Chapman returned to pitch his first game on May 11, earning the save against Colorado.
Pitchers Alfredo Simon and Jonathan Broxton were viable candidates for selection but were not chosen.