It’s not much of a surprise that D.C.’s aces Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez were voted to the 2012 All Star Game, along with Ian Desmond. And what’s more, wonder-kid Bryce Harper is eligible for a final vote All Star nomination. The Nats have never had more than two representatives elected as All Stars, which continues to prove that this season’s club is a whole different breed than the Nats you used to know.
In heat: Many cities in America endured a heat wave this week, and when the Nats played in Atlanta the temperature climbed to over 100 degrees, which limited Strasburg’s performance to only three innings, probably due to dehydration. But the club didn’t melt completely. Washington managed to stay cool and best the Braves for the series, and finished off a month of star-worthy success.
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New York Mets
The Mets this season will boast two slots in the All Star lineup this year so far, with both third baseman David Wright, and knuckleball pitcher R.A. Dickey. Likewise, Mets manager Terry Collins is expected to coach at first base at the All Star Game in Kansas City.
Look who it is: the Mets welcomed back Ruben Tejada (strained quadriceps), and Ronny Cedeno back to the field after both were out for injury. After wrapping up June, the Mets went 15-13 for the month, going out with a particularly loud bang- four wins in a row after an equally long streak of losses. The Mets signed six Draft picks, including second-round Matt Reynolds. And on the downside, or upside, depending how you look at it, closer Frank Francisco is beginning a rehab assignment for his strained oblique.
The Braves have secured two seats in the All Star Game and are fighting for more! Dan Uggla is starting the All Star Game at second base for the National League team, and Craig Kimbrel will serve in the bullpen. Additionally, third baseman Chipper Jones and outfielder Michael Bourne are both contenders for the final vote. And if it means anything, the young’un Bryce Harper of the Nationals casts his vote for Chip.
In other news, the Braves signed 2008-All Star pitcher Ben Sheets, who has not played in the Majors since 2010 due to arm injuries, to a double-A Minor League deal. A gamble? Perhaps, but the club is confident about their success with post-op pitchers.
Keep an eye on Atlanta at She Is Out Of Your League
The votes are in: Giancarlo Stanton was sent to the All Star Game from the Miami Marlins as a National League reserve player, and will also be a participating slugger in the Home Run Derby.
On the injury front, Edward Mujica fractured his toe in Saturday’s game and was placed on the 15-day disabled list, and the Marlins recalled lefty Wade LeBlanc to fill the void. And in the spirit of Christmas, Manager Ozzie Guillen said he will find a place on the roster for the well-performed (.388 avg) Justin Ruggiano to stay, even after Emilio Bonifacio returns after the All Star Break from thumb injury.
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Despite the team’s ailments, the Phillies crew are no strangers to the All Star lineup. Catcher Carlos Ruiz will make his All Star debut in the reserves for the National League team, along with veteran pitchers Jonathan Papelbon and Cole Hamels.
Time to celebrate? Roy Halladay’s rehabbing (strained back) is currently day-to-day, but he should be scheduled to return after the All Star break. And perhaps the biggest news in Philadelphia, or at least in Baltimore, it seems, is that the Phils have traded Jim Thome to the Orioles for two prospects, catcher Gabriel Lino and righty Kyle Simon.
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