Cedric Mullins turned his MVP-caliber season into his first appearance in the All-Star Game.
Trey Mancini will participate in the Home Run Derby but will not play in the game despite being the likely MLB Comeback Player of the Year.
John Means was on track to make the All-Star team before an injury slowed his season.
So, the Orioles had three potential All-Stars despite having the worst record (27-57) in the American League.
“I really don’t know what to expect,” Mullins said of being named to the team. “It’s my first All-Star appearance, it’s a great feeling. I’m excited to be amongst some of the top guys in baseball. Just looking forward to seeing what happens.”
Mullins is batting .318/.385/.547 with 15 home runs and 32 RBIs. He ranks fourth in MLB with 101 hits. There is a chance he could replace Mike Trout in the starting lineup. The Angels’ center fielder has missed 40 games after straining his right calf against the Cleveland Indians May 18.
“We brought the whole team together in the clubhouse and I announced it in front of everybody,” manager Brandon Hyde said of Mullins making the team. “Special moment. Felt really good to let him know that, in front of everybody, he was an All-Star. Hoping he starts.”
Mancini is back in the lineup after missing all of last season because of colon cancer surgery and treatment. He is batting .254/.329/.453 with 15 home runs and a team-leading 53 RBIs. Mancini could have made the All-Star Game, but the American League is loaded with deserving first basemen and designated hitters. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Matt Olson, Jared Walsh, Shohei Ohtani, Nelson Cruz and J.D. Martinez were selected.
Chuck Ristano, the pitching coach at Notre Dame, will throw to Mancini in the Home Run Derby.
“The biggest reason why I wanted to do it was to show people there is life after a cancer diagnosis and chemotherapy,” Mancini said of participating in the Derby. “I was in a hospital last year 12 times for three or four hours getting infused with chemo drugs. I want those people going through that right now to know that you can get through it and still live a normal life and thrive and compete after that.
“More importantly, it is kind of the duty I feel to them as well.”
Means was forced to leave the Orioles’ June 5 game against the Cleveland Indians with shoulder tightness after facing just five batters. He underwent an MRI that revealed the strain. He suffered the same injury in 2019. He also opened the 2020 season on the IL with shoulder fatigue.
Means allowed one run and one hit with two strikeouts in two innings during a rehab start with Aberdeen July 4 and is expected to return to the Orioles’ rotation after the All-Star break.
“Honestly, it’s me needing to take care of myself a little bit more,” Means told MASN after his rehab start. “I had some tightness in the back of the shoulder, and I think that’s what it was. Just attacking that, I have a game plan now to try and take care of that. I think it should be good from here on out.”
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