McCutchen, Hanrahan land All-Star selections
ST. LOUIS — For the second year in a row, closer Joel Hanrahan and outfielder Andrew McCutchen will represent the Pirates at the All-Star Game.
Hanrahan and McCutchen were selected on the players’ ballot for the July 10 game in Kansas City. Last year, McCutchen made the National League roster as an injury replacement player.
“I feel like I’m more deserving than last year,” McCutchen said. “It definitely feels good just to be on the team.”
It’s only the fifth time in 19 years the Pirates have more than one player on the National League roster.
“I’m disappointed there were only two this year, and I was shocked that I was one of them,” Hanrahan said. “I thought James (McDonald), A.J. (Burnett) and (Jason) Grilli really deserve it, too.”
Hanrahan has 20 saves and a 2.10 ERA, and he has not allowed a run in his past eight outings. He is one of three relievers in Pirates history to reach 20 saves before the All-Star break.
McCutchen is fifth in the NL with a .346 batting average and is tied for seventh with 15 home runs. There’s a chance he could be in the starting lineup for the NL in place of Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp, who is on the disabled list.
“I’ve always been a person who wanted something because I earned it,” McCutchen said. “(Replacing Kemp) would be awesome, but I’d still feel like I took someone else’s place.”
McCutchen is the only player in the majors with at least 15 homers, 50 RBI and 14 stolen bases this season.
Burnett (9-2, 3.31) is on track for what would be his eighth straight season with double-digit wins. McDonald (7-3, 2.44) is putting together a breakout season. Grilli’s 2.05 ERA is tops on the Pirates.
Despite their solid stats, Burnett, McDonald and Grilli were snubbed by the players’ vote. Tony La Russa, who will manage the NL squad, chose five pitchers: Cole Hamels, Jonathan Papelbon, Clayton Kershaw, Wade Miley and Huston Street.
Each club is guaranteed at least one representative. Miley (Diamondbacks) and Street (Padres) are the only players from their respective teams.
“It’s very challenging (to pick reserves),” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “It doesn’t matter what decisions are made. At the end of the day, there are guys who are deserving who are left off (the roster).”
Rob Biertempfel is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at [email protected] or 412-320-7811.