“Final Vote” balloting opens for 2015 MLB All-Star Game

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The National League and American League rosters for the 2015 MLB All-Star Game were announced earlier this evening and we predictably saw some high-profile snubs. The Esurance “Final Vote” ballot allows fans to select who they think should have made the cut. Here are the candidates…

National League

  • Johnny Cueto SP, Reds (2.84 ERA in 15 starts)
  • Jeurys Familia RP, Mets (1.16 ERA, 22 saves)
  • Clayton Kershaw SP, Dodgers (3.08 ERA, 147 K in 114 IP)
  • Carlos Martinez SP, Cardinals (2.70 ERA)
  • Troy Tulowitzki SS, Rockies (.847 OPS)

American League

  • Xander Bogaerts SS, Red Sox (.302/.339/.414 batting line)
  • Yoenis Cespedes OF, Tigers (.292 with 10 HR, 44 RBI)
  • Brian Dozier 2B, Twins (16 HR, .842 OPS)
  • Brett Gardner OF, Yankees (.854 OPS, 9 HR, 15 SB)
  • Mike Moustakas 3B, Royals (.301/.357/.436 batting line)

Of course, things could change if players get injured or bow out, but as of now Alex Rodriguez (16 HR, .902 OPS) will not be an All-Star this season. He’s clearly worthy from a production standpoint, so it’s a little silly to see him left off here, but let’s not let his exclusion overshadow his teammate Gardner, who deserves to be in Cincinnati as well.

You can vote here through Friday at 4 p.m. ET.

Maddon: Shohei Ohtani won’t pitch again for Angels this year

Shohei Ohtani
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Shohei Ohtani won’t pitch again this season for the Los Angeles Angels after straining his right forearm in his second start, manager Joe Maddon says.

Ohtani likely will return to the Angels’ lineup as their designated hitter this week, Maddon said Tuesday night before the club opened a road series against the Seattle Mariners.

The Angels’ stance on Ohtani is unsurprising after the club announced he had strained the flexor pronator mass near the elbow of his pitching arm. The two-way star’s recovery from the strain requires him to abstain from throwing for four to six weeks, which covers most of the shortened 2020 season.

“I’m not anticipating him pitching at all this year,” Maddon said. “Any kind of throwing program is going to be very conservative.”

Ohtani was injured Sunday in the second inning of his second start since returning to the mound following Tommy John surgery in late 2018. Ohtani issued five walks during the 42-pitch inning against the Houston Astros, with his velocity dropping later in the frame.

The arm injury is another obstacle in Ohtani’s path to becoming the majors’ first true two-way player in decades. He made 10 mound starts as a rookie in 2018 before injuring his elbow, but he served as the Angels’ regular designated hitter last season while recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Ohtani has pitched in only three games since June 2018, but the Angels still believe in Ohtani’s ability to be a two-way player, Maddon said.

“I’m seeing that he can,” Maddon said. “We’ve just got to get past the arm maladies and figure that out. But I’ve seen it. He’s just such a high-end arm, and we’ve seen what he can do in the batter’s box. Now maybe it might get to the point where he may choose to do one thing over the other and express that to us. I know he likes to hit. In my mind’s eye, he’s still going to be able to do this.”

The veteran manager believes Ohtani will benefit from a full spring training and a normal season. Ohtani wasn’t throwing at full strength for a starter when the coronavirus pandemic shut down spring training in March because he wasn’t expected to pitch until May as he returned from surgery.

“Going into a regular season with a normal number of starts and all the things that permit guys to be ready for a year, that’s what we need to see is some normalcy before you make that kind of determination,” Maddon said.

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