Sports

Bochy won’t have any of his players in AL All-Star lineup at home after Texas had 5 starters in ’23

ARLINGTON, Texas — The American League starting lineup that Texas Rangers manager Bruce Bochy will write out for the All-Star Game won’t include any of his own players.

A year after the Rangers had five All-Star starters — four voted in by fans, and another as an injury replacement — the reigning World Series champions didn’t have any players voted in to start the July 16 game that will be played in their home ballpark. Pitchers and reserves will be announced Sunday.

That is all just a reminder of how special 2023 was for the Rangers, who after the huge All-Star presence in Seattle went on to win their first World Series title.

“Incredible year. When you look back at last year and the number of All-Stars, I still remember watching the game and seeing all of them out there. It was really, really cool,” Bochy said Thursday. “Of course, went on to win the World Series. Really, it’s one of those special years that’s going to be in the memory bank for a long time.”

Second baseman Marcus Semien, one of the All-Star starters last year, fell short to Houston’s Jose Altuve in the results revealed Wednesday. Semien was the only Rangers player to make it to the final round of voting for starters.

Semien is hitting .231 with 11 home runs and 45 RBIs, but has hit .088 (6 for 68) the past 16 games to drop his overall average by 34 points. He had two hits in 36 at-bats the past eight games, and wasn’t in the Rangers starting lineup Thursday for only the second time this season.

When Semien didn’t play May 29, it ended his consecutive games played streak at 349. He was in a 1-for-20 slide before that, but hit .355 (11 for 31) in the the nine games after his first day off in more than two years.

“It’s incredible how he shows up every day, gives it all that he has for you, for the team,” Bochy said Thursday. “But I just think it’s good to give him a break today.”

Third baseman Josh Jung, voted in as an All-Star starter as a rookie last season, hasn’t played for Texas since April 1, when his right wrist was broken after getting hit by a pitch. Shortstop Corey Seager is hitting .260 with 15 homers and 38 RBIs after the World Series MVP missed most of spring training following a sports hernia repair.

Switch-hitter Jonah Heim, the AL’s starting catcher last year, has hit .175 over his past 30 games. Right fielder Adolis García, who started after Aaron Judge and Mike Trout were both unable to play, has 16 homers and 44 RBIs but struggled through May and much of June.

Those Rangers aren’t the only players not repeating as All-Star starters from last year. Major League Baseball said this is the first time each league has had no more than one player repeat as an elected starter since fan balloting resumed in 1970.

Bochy said he has not yet considered what his AL lineup might look like after the announcement of the starters: Baltimore catcher Adley Rutschman, Toronto first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Altuve, Orioles shortstop Gunnar Henderson, Cleveland third baseman José Ramirez, Indians outfielder Steven Kwan and New York Yankees sluggers Aaron Judge and Juan Soto.

This will be Bochy’s fifth All-Star Game as the manager, his first for the AL. He led the National League teams in the 1999, 2011, 2013 and 2015 games, when All-Star managers got to pick reserve players and pitchers.

“We don’t have any say, and I wish I did. I enjoyed that,” Bochy said. “Although, you know, it’s always about who you didn’t take, the snubs that were brought up more than the guys that you picked. That went with the territory. So that, I won’t miss.”

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

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