Texas Rangers ace Yu Darvish was named to the American League All-Star team for the fourth time, while shortstop Elvis Andrus was among five finalists for the Final Vote.
Darvish was an All-Star in his first three seasons with the Rangers (2012-14), but this will be his first trip back since undergoing Tommy John surgery in March 2015.
To go through that process and come back and be selected an All-Star, that means a lot to me.
Rangers ace Yu Darvish on coming back from Tommy John surgery
“Especially when I had Tommy John surgery, I wasn’t sure I’d ever get back on the mound,” said Darvish, who is 6-6 with a 3.11 ERA in 17 starts this season. “To go through that process and come back and be selected an All-Star, that means a lot to me.”
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Darvish is the only Japanese-born player other than Ichiro Suzuki to earn more than two All-Star nods.
Andrus, who is having a career year at the plate, was an All-Star in 2010 and ’12. Those honors, however, were more about his defense than his offense. Andrus leads the club with a .302 batting average, 50 runs scored and 19 doubles. He also has a career-high 11 homers and is second on the team with 50 RBIs.
“It will be an honor for sure. It’s always a great experience to be next to a lot of super stars,” Andrus said. “It’s something I’ve been working on a lot for the past two years, and it’s great to see it reflected out there on the field. I’m feeling really good right now.”
Andrus has put together consecutive seasons that are his two best offensively. He had a combined 27 homers in his first seven seasons but has 19 over the past season and a half. He’s also hitting over .300 the past two seasons. And in 2017, he’s been the sturdiest force in the lineup.
“He’s been the guy who has been consistent since Day 1,” catcher Robinson Chirinos said. “Hopefully, he has the opportunity to represent our team.”
Chirinos worked with Andrus and assistant hitting coach Justin Mashore during the 2015 off-season — one that helped Andrus improve at the plate.
“Look at him now. It’s way different. He’s driving the ball everywhere,” Chirinos said. “I’m happy for him.”
The Final Vote (five nominees for each league) is voted on by fans on MLB.com, individual team sites and mobile phones. The other candidates for the AL are Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts, Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius, Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas and Rays first baseman Logan Morrison
The winning player fills out the 32-man roster. The vote ends at 3 p.m. Thursday and the results are announced two hours later. Often, the nominees who aren’t selected are used as alternates when other players who made the roster are unable to play for various reasons.