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2019 All-Star Game reserves and pitchers announced

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The starters for the 2019 All-Star Game were announced on Thursday. Mike Trout and Nolan Arenado were among the big names selected by fans. The rest of the rosters — reserves and pitchers — were just announced on ESPN.

American League Reserves

C – James McCann, White Sox
1B – José Abreu, White Sox
2B – Tommy La Stella, Angels
2B – Whit Merrifield, Royals
3B – Matt Chapman, Athletics
SS – Francisco Lindor, Indians
OF – Austin Meadows, Rays
OF – Joey Gallo, Rangers
OF – Mookie Betts, Red Sox
DH – Daniel Vogelbach, Mariners
DH – J.D. Martinez, Red Sox

Notable Omissions: Xander Bogaerts, Red Sox; Max Kepler, Twins; Gleyber Torres, Yankees; Luke Voit, Yankees

American League Pitchers

SP – Justin Verlander, Astros
SP – Gerrit Cole, Astros
SP – John Means, Orioles
SP – Lucas Giolito, White Sox
SP – Charlie Morton, Rays
SP – Jake Odorizzi, Twins
SP – Mike Minor, Rangers
SP – Marcus Stroman, Blue Jays
RP – Ryan Pressly, Astros
RP – Shane Greene, Tigers
RP – Brad Hand, Indians
RP – Aroldis Chapman, Yankees

Notable Omissions: José Berríos, Twins; Ken Giles, Blue Jays; Alex Colomé, White Sox

In the American League, the Astros have the most representatives with six. The Yankees, Rangers, Indians, and White Sox have three each.

National League Reserves

C – J.T. Realmuto, Phillies
C – Yasmani Grandal, Brewers
1B – Pete Alonso, Mets
1B – Josh Bell, Pirates
2B – Mike Moustakas, Brewers
3B – Anthony Rendon, Nationals
3B – Kris Bryant, Cubs
SS – Trevor Story, Rockies
SS – Paul DeJong, Cardinals
OF – Jeff McNeil, Mets
OF – Charlie Blackmon, Rockies
OF – David Dahl, Rockies

Notable Omissions: Max Muncy, Dodgers; Eduardo Escobar, Diamondbacks; Manny Machado, Padres

National League Pitchers

SP – Luis Castillo, Reds
SP – Mike Soroka, Braves
SP – Sandy Alcantara, Marlins
SP – Walker Buehler, Dodgers
SP – Hyun-Jin Ryu, Dodgers
SP – Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers
SP – Jacob deGrom, Mets
SP – Zack Greinke, Diamondbacks
SP – Max Scherzer, Nationals
RP – Will Smith, Giants
RP – Kirby Yates, Padres
RP – Josh Hader, Brewers

Notable Omissions: Zach Eflin, Phillies; Tanner Roark, Reds; Felipe Vázquez, Pirates

In the National League, the Rockies, Dodgers, and Brewers tied for the most representatives with four. The Mets, Braves, and Cubs had three each.

Astros block Detroit Free Press from clubhouse at Justin Verlander’s request

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Last night a BBWAA-credentialed reporter from the Detroit Free Press was barred from the Houston Astros’ clubhouse by team security following the Tigers win over the Astros. The reporter — who was almost certainly Anthony Fenech, who covers the Tigers — was kept out at the request of Astros starter Justin Verlander. Here’s the scene as described by the Free Press. The article contains a photo, taken by Fenech, of the three Astros officials who blocked the door to prevent him access:

At 9:35 p.m., the Astros opened their clubhouse to credentialed media in coordination with MLB rules. As other media members entered the clubhouse, the Free Press reporter with a valid BBWAA-issued credential was blocked from entering by three Astros security officials . . . The reporter contacted Mike Teevan, MLB vice president of communications, who said he would immediately reach out to Dias regarding the issue. Dias eventually gave the reporter access to the clubhouse at 9:41 p.m., after Verlander’s media session had ended . . . Once inside, the reporter approached Verlander, who said: “I’m not answering your questions.” When asked to comment on Wednesday’s loss, Verlander walked away.

That after-the-fact access for the reporter came only after he called Major League Baseball who, in turn, called Astros officials, presumably, to tell them that they cannot bar credentialed media.

It’s unclear at the moment what the beef is between Verlander and either the Free Press or the reporter. For what it’s worth, I follow Fenech and, while he’s a bit more witty and, occasionally, cutting than your average beat reporter, he’s self-effacing and doesn’t do cheap shots. Though he talks often about former Tigers and has made a point to highlight Verlander’s post-Tigers career whenever relevant, to my knowledge he hasn’t said or done anything specific to tweak Verlander in the past.

I will note, though, that last night, about eight minutes before Fenech was barred access, the Free Press Twitter account sent this tongue-in-cheek tweet out. It’s unclear if he or someone else at the paper wrote it:

Maybe that pissed off Verlander, who is known to be active on social media and is usually pretty aware of what’s being said about him. Hard to say.

What’s easy to say, though, is that no matter what has hurt Verlander’s fragile ego, the Astros barring the reporter from the clubhouse is in blatant violation of the agreement between Major League Baseball and the Baseball Writers Association of America, which ensures access for credentialed reporters. Verlander doesn’t have to talk to the guy — he doesn’t have to talk to anyone he doesn’t want to talk to — but the team honoring Verlander’s wishes to bar access is totally unacceptable and, frankly, about as low-rent as it gets from a media relations perspective.

We’ll probably hear more about this later today.