OAKLAND – Starting second baseman Jose Altuve and manager Dusty Baker will be joined by some famous faces in the American League dugout at the All-Star Game on July 19, when four Astroes were named to the reserve squad.
Verlander, 39, leads the American League with 11 wins, and his 2.00 ERA only follows Tampa Bay’s Shane McClanahan (1.73 ERA). Verlander has been a workhorse in the return season after missing the entire 2021 while recovering from the Tommy John operation, throwing at least seven innings in eight of his 16 starts and registering 12 quality starts.
“It means a lot,” Verlander said. “Many of the things this first half put some things into perspective, in a way, to remember all the hard work that went into getting me here, to get me back here. To be recognized by my peers and to be selected, that is a great honor. “
Perhaps no All-Star was more confident than Alvarez, who has positioned himself as an early MVP candidate. He came in on Sunday leading the Majors in OPS (1,058), slugging percentage (0.653) and percussion per home run (10.31). Alvarez was a finalist who started on designated hits, but was eventually knocked out, 52% to 48%, by Angels’ Shohei Ohtani.
“It’s a huge honor for him, such a young player, to come in second after Shohei,” Baker said after the start of the All-Star Game on Friday.
“I’m super happy [Alvarez and Valdez]”Tucker said,” they definitely deserve it. They have had phenomenal years and have worked all their lives for this. ”
After having a breakout season in 2021, Tucker puts together a solid 2022, with 0.259 / .351 / .478 with 16 home runs on Sunday. Tucker’s 58 RBIs are second after Aaron Judge (65) among AL outfielders, and his 14 steals are a draw in the fifth most in the league. He has also been a key defender for Houston, according to the Fangraphs, as his 10 defensive runs saved this season are tied to Tampa Bay’s Brett Phillips for most of an AL outfielder.
Valdez, who has emerged as one of the best left-handed starters in baseball, finishes the quintet of Astros on their way to Los Angeles. Valdez has gone 8-4 with an ERA of 2.64 in 17 starts this season, he is currently putting together 14 straight quality starts. He could not help but smile as he discussed making his first All-Star team.
“I’ve just worked really hard for this,” Valdez said through interpreter Jenloy Herrera. “I have tried to work tirelessly for this, tried to focus much more on the game, and just try to have quality excursions every single time I went out there, so today I could become an All-Star.”
Houston’s five All-Stars will be in good company, as Baker and his staff will be at the helm of the AL squad at Dodger Stadium. It is a special opportunity, Baker said, to manage his own players as well as some of the best players in the league at this prestigious event.
“I looked at that list, and hey, they have some bad guys on that list,” Baker said. “I feel it’s an honor to rule, and we’re on the same page, if [just] What a day.”