Pittsburg Pirates’ rookie Skenes earns All-Star nod only 8 weeks into his debut; Philadelphia Phillies boast 7 players selected for July 16 game

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Paul Skenes pitches in the 1st inning

Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Paul Skenes was chosen to play in the All-Star Game just eight weeks after making his major league debut. The Philadelphia Phillies led the majors with seven players selected.

Skenes, who turned 22 in May, was drafted as the top pick by the Pirates last year. He started his first major league game on May 11 and has a record of 5-0 with a 2.12 ERA in 10 starts. He’s struck out 78 batters in 59 1/3 innings and has thrown 74 pitches at speeds of 100 mph or higher.

Skenes is likely to pitch in one more game before the All-Star break, making him a candidate to start for the National League team.

“I think that would be great. I don’t have any expectations,” he said. “I’m not sure who decides that, but it would definitely be cool.”

Alongside Skenes, Chicago Cubs pitcher Shota Imanaga and San Diego outfielder Jackson Merrill are the only rookies selected for the July 16 game in Arlington, Texas.

In addition to their rookie, the Philadelphia Phillies have four pitchers chosen: Zack Wheeler, Ranger Suárez, Jeff Hoffman, and Matt Strahm. They also have three starting position players: Bryce Harper at first base, Trea Turner at shortstop, and Alec Bohm at third base.

This is the first time Philadelphia has had seven All-Stars, though Harper’s participation depends on his recovery from a hamstring injury that has kept him out since June 27. Wheeler is scheduled to pitch for the Phillies just before the All-Star break and won’t be available for the game.

Shota Imanaga pitches in the 1st inning

The Los Angeles Dodgers have six All-Stars, including Tyler Glasnow, Will Smith, Freddie Freeman, Teoscar Hernández, and injured player Mookie Betts, joining starting DH Shohei Ohtani on the NL roster.

In the American League, Cleveland leads with five All-Stars, including Josh Naylor, Emmanuel Clase, David Fry, José Ramírez, and Steven Kwan. San Diego also has five players selected.

Chris Sale, a pitcher for Atlanta, earned his eighth All-Star selection, marking his first since 2018 after a streak from 2012 to 2018. This makes Sale the longest gap between All-Star selections since Albert Pujols in 2022, who had his first since 2015 in his final season.

“I’m definitely satisfied. I really appreciate it,” said Sale, who joined the Braves from Boston in December. “They took a chance on me, and I’m happy to be able to perform for them.”

At 37 years old, Texas closer Kirby Yates is the oldest All-Star this year. He will be joined by second baseman Marcus Semien from the World Series champion Rangers.

Kansas City catcher Salvador Perez was selected for the ninth time, matching Houston’s Jose Altuve for the most appearances among the 67 players on this year’s rosters.

Merrill, aged 21, is the youngest All-Star and among 32 first-time selections.

Jackson Merrill tosses his bat after hitting a home run in the 4th inning

Skenes is set to start one more game for Pittsburgh, which will give him 11 appearances, potentially the fewest for a player in an All-Star Game, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Previously, the record was held by Mark Fidrych in 1976, Hideo Nomo in 1995, and Dontrelle Willis in 2003, each with 13.

Don Schwall had 11 at the time of the first All-Star Game in 1961 but did not play; he had 15 appearances by the second All-Star Game that year.

San Diego outfielder Fernando Tatis Jr., elected to start by fans, will miss the game due to a stress reaction in his right thigh bone. Mookie Betts, voted in by players for his eighth consecutive All-Star appearance, has been sidelined since fracturing his left hand on June 16.

Cincinnati’s 22-year-old Elly De La Cruz, known for his speed, took Betts’ spot after finishing second to him in the player ballot. Skenes and San Francisco outfielder Heliot Ramos were selected by MLB to replace Wheeler and Tatis.

Pitchers Corbin Burnes (Baltimore), Garrett Crochet (Chicago White Sox), Tanner Houck (Boston), Seth Lugo (Kansas City), and Tarik Skubal (Detroit) were voted onto the AL staff by players, managers, and coaches, along with Clase, Yates, and Mason Miller (Oakland).


By Brian Anderson

Hi myself Brian, I am a second-year student at Symbiosis Centre of Management Studies, Noida, pursuing a BBA degree. I am a multi-faceted individual with a passion for various hobbies, including cricket, football, music, and sketching. Beyond my hobbies, I possess a keen interest in literature, particularly fictional books, and channels my creativity into content writing. I am constantly exploring the realms of both business administration and the world of imagination through my diverse pursuits.

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