PHOENIX — Paul Goldschmidt and Patrick Corbin have been integral to the Diamondbacks’ run to the top of the NL West, and their National League peers, if not the fans, have noticed and rewarded them.
Goldschmidt and Corbin were voted to their first All-Star team when the balloting was announced Saturday, and it was not even close. Gerardo Parra, another top candidate, was not named to the squad or to the five-man group from which the fans will pick one more player.
“It is a great honor,” D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. “They’ll have a great time being there and having a chance to perform. Meeting some of their enemies. It will be a cool experience for them. We all feel happy for them. They worked hard, and we know that they will be humble about it and handle it well. Enjoy that time and be ready to go in the second half.”
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Goldschmidt, who leads the NL with 71 RBIs and is a top candidate for the MVP award at the midway point, overwhelmed fans’ All-Star choice Joey Votto to finish first in the player voting at first base, 508 to 347.
Corbin, the first major leaguer to nine victories when he got there June 2, had the third-most votes among NL starting pitchers, getting 222 to trail only Matt Harvey and Clayton Kershaw. Corbin, 9-1 with a 2.49 ERA, received more player support than Adam Wainwright (215 votes) or Jordan Zimmermann (207).
The game is at Citi Field on July 16.
“I never thought in a million years I would be an All-Star,” said Corbin, who opened spring training as a candidate for the No. 5 spot in the starting rotation but has emerged as the staff ace.
“When I started the season off, I just wanted to do the best that I could and try to get off to a hot start wherever I was. Fortunately, I made the team out of spring and got off to a good start. I want to keep going.”
Goldschmidt is hitting .304/.381/.553 and is one of two players with at least 20 doubles and 20 homers in the NL, joining Rockies All-Star Carlos Gonzalez. Goldschmidt has a WAR (wins above replacement) of 4.3, fourth in the league.
“It’s a cool honor. It should be a fun experience. There are nine more games until the All-Star break, and I want to focus on those try to finish first half strong,” Goldschmidt said, characteristically calm.
Goldschmidt said he will consider participating in the Home Run Derby, held Monday, if asked by NL captain David Wright, who also made the All-Star team. Goldschmidt said he had a good experience in the 2011 Southern League home run derby, but at the same time, he does not want to risk disturbing a swing that has lifted him into the NL MVP discussions.
Corbin is scheduled to make two more starts before the All-Star game, Sunday and next Friday. Gibson said he hoped Corbin would pitch at most one inning in the game, and he might try to talk to NL manager Bruce Bochy in advance.
“An inning would be neat,” Corbin said. “The first time, I really have no idea what to expect. I’ll try to take everything in and try to bring back as many souvenirs as I can. Even when I was drafted, I never thought I would play in one. I’m just really excited and just glad I get that I get to do it.”
Gibson does not plan to pitch Corbin in the three-game series the weekend after the All-Star break — the 24-year-old has already has logged 115 2/3 innings — saying, “He needs a little break.”
Parra, who is tied for the third in the NL in doubles and sixth in the NL in hits in his breakout season, was not among the seven outfielders named to the team. Parra’s WAR of 3.4 is fourth among NL outfielders, more than double that of Washington’s Bryce Harper, who was one of three starters voted in by the fans.
Nor was Parra among the final five for the last spot, to be voted on by fans. Yasiel Puig, Ian Desmond, Adrian Gonzalez, Freddie Freeeman and Hunter Pence are in that group, and Puig is expected to win in a landslide.
“I’m happy,” Parra said. “I thought I had a chance to make it, but it’s not my decision. I’m happy for ‘Goldy.’ I’m happy for Corbin. I know I have good numbers. I just want keep playing every day hard for my team and just continue my career. I know the situation.”
Added Gibson, “It would be nice if he made it. He’s been great for us all year. He deserves to go. It’s out of our hands whether he does or not.”