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 Prince, Miggy, Verlander named 2012 AL All-Stars

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PostSubject: Prince, Miggy, Verlander named 2012 AL All-Stars   Sun Jul 01, 2012 6:56 pm

Prince, Miggy, Verlander named AL All-Stars

By Jason Beck / | 07/01/12 3:21 PM ET

ST. PETERSBURG -- For the first time in fan balloting, the Tigers had a first baseman voted to start in the All-Star Game. The coming days will tell whether they have their second All-Star starting pitcher in seven years.

There were neither surprising first-timers nor shocking snubs for Detroit when the American League All-Star roster was announced Sunday afternoon. The star Tigers are the Tigers' All-Stars.

Prince Fielder, the reigning All-Star Game Most Valuable Player, took his credentials to the American League and won the starting nod at first base. Miguel Cabrera earned his third straight selection, this time at third base, while Justin Verlander earned his fourth straight All-Star selection, and fifth overall.

Fielder becomes the sixth Tiger to start at first base, a group that includes his father, Cecil, in 1991 coming off of his 51-homer season the year earlier. Cabrera started for the American League at first base two years ago, though he was selected by players and coaches as a reserve and replaced an injured Justin Morneau for the starting job.

Prince Fielder's All-Star selection this year, his fourth, comes amidst an AL debut season in which he has earned much more respect as a pure hitter than a slugger. While Fielder's 12 home runs entering Sunday ranked him 25th among AL hitters, his .294 batting average put him in the top 20. He has spent much of the season hitting better than .300.

Fielder already has a couple of All-Star starting assignments on his ledger, but they were in the National League, where he became a star with the Milwaukee Brewers. His three-run homer in last year's Midsummer Classic earned him MVP honors.

Cabrera was a reserve first baseman in that game, having lost out to Adrian Gonzalez in fan balloting for starting honors. When Fielder signed with Detroit in January and Cabrera moved from first to third, he seemingly had a better chance to crack the starting lineup, after falling short so often among a crowded group of AL first basemen.

A massive voting effort from the AL champion Rangers kept Cabrera chasing Adrian Beltre in balloting at third, falling about 417,000 votes short despite garnering just under 4.2 million votes. Once again, Cabrera's peers put him on the roster for his seventh All-Star selection, and his third as a Tiger. Cabrera actually received more votes in player balloting (508) than did Beltre (398).

Cabrera entered Sunday batting .315 with 16 home runs and 62 RBIs, numbers that put him at the forefront of AL third basemen. Beltre's standing among the best two-way players in the league likely didn't hurt his chances.

The same player nod went for Verlander, whose follow-up campaign to his AL MVP and Cy Young honors from last year has reinforced his standing among the nastiest pitchers in baseball, if not at the top. He entered Sunday leading the AL in strikeouts and was fourth in ERA, while posting an 8-5 record. His 123 2/3 innings lead all Major League pitchers.

Verlander led all AL pitchers in player balloting with 258 votes, 16 more than White Sox left-hander Chris Sale.

Verlander is a strong candidate to start for the American League in the Midsummer Classic. He'll make his final start before the All-Star break on Wednesday, giving him five days of rest before the game. He won't make his first start out of the break until the following Sunday.

The Tigers didn't have a slew of strong candidates beyond that trio, but center fielder Austin Jackson and setup man Joaquin Benoit arguably ranked among All-Star snubs. Jackson entered Sunday batting .326 with a .408 on-base percentage and .945 OPS, ranking him among the best leadoff hitters in baseball so far this year. However, he was part of a crowded field of candidates in the outfield, where teams with one All-Star tend to get a representative.

The Home Run Derby can be seen on and ESPN at 8 p.m. ET on July 9.

The 83rd Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. Pregame ceremonies begin at 7:30 p.m. ET. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage. MLB Network, and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Game coverage.

Fans will also have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player presented by Chevrolet via the 2012 All-Star Game MVP Vote during the All-Star Game on

American League roster

C Mike Napoli, TEX
1B Prince Fielder, DET
2B Robinson Cano, NYY
3B Adrian Beltre, TEX
SS Derek Jeter, NYY
OF Josh Hamilton, TEX
OF Curtis Granderson, NYY
OF Jose Bautista, TOR
DH David Ortiz, BOS
RHP Ryan Cook, OAK
LHP Matt Harrison, TEX
RHP Felix Hernandez, SEA
RHP Jim Johnson, BAL
RHP Joe Nathan, TEX
RHP Chris Perez, CLE
LHP David Price, TB
RHP Fernando Rodney, TB
LHP CC Sabathia, NYY
LHP Chris Sale, CWS
RHP Justin Verlander, DET
RHP Jered Weaver, LAA
LHP C.J. Wilson, LAA
C Joe Mauer, MIN
C Matt Wieters, BAL
SS Elvis Andrus, TEX
SS Asdrubal Cabrera, CLE
3B Miguel Cabrera, DET
2B Ian Kinsler, TEX
1B Paul Konerko, CWS
OF Adam Jones, BAL
OF Mike Trout, LAA
OF Mark Trumbo, LAA
DH Billy Butler, KC
DH Adam Dunn, CWS

Jason Beck is a reporter for Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola
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