Jose Bautista is headed to the all-star game for a fifth consecutive year, and fourth straight as a starter, while teammates Edwin Encarnacion and Mark Buehrle were also selected to the American League squad Sunday.
Bautista, who will also captain the AL’s entry in the home run derby, led all players with 5,859,019 votes, leading the balloting for the second time.
— Blue Jays-Official (@BlueJays) July 6, 2014
“It’s great to have the support and I feel thankful and appreciative of all the votes,” said Bautista. “It’s nice to know people are paying attention and they’re watching you succeed.
“It’s great playing among the game’s best, there are a lot of talented people in this league and just to be part of that elite group that gets a chance to play in the all-star game is awesome. Hopefully I get to take advantage of meeting some of those guys, not as opponents like we normally do, but as teammates and have a little fun.”
Encarnacion, one of manager John Farrell’s roster selections, was chosen for a second year in a row although he’ll miss the game with a quadriceps injury that is expected to land him on the disabled list.
“That’s something you’re working for, to be selected to the all-star team,” said Encarnacion. “I feel happy for that, but my No. 1 thing right now is getting (healthy) from my injury and recovering quickly.”
The first baseman has posted a career-best OPS of .959 through 88 games with 26 homers and 70 RBIs. Sixteen of his homers came during a torrid May, when his OPS was 1.132.
Buehrle, elected to the squad in the player vote, is headed to his fifth all-star game and first since 2009. He started the 2005 contest and was considered a leading candidate for this year’s affair in Minnesota until the recent disappearance of his run support has made him an undeserving loser of five straight decisions.
Overall he’s 10-6 with a 2.60 ERA in 16 starts with a WHIP of 1.245.
“The past couple of years, I didn’t think it was ever going to happen again,” said Buehrle. “The older I’m getting, the prime is in the past. It’s always an honour to go for two fun jam-packed days, you’ve got to go soak it up and try to have some fun.”