SAN FRANCISCO – Left-hander Madison Bumgarner and second baseman Marco Scutaro were named to their first All-Star teams Saturday.
They’re joined by catcher Buster Posey, giving the Giants three players in the July 16 Midsummer Classic to be held at New York’s Citi Field. Outfielder Hunter Pence is one of five candidates for the fan balloting that will select the final National League All-Star.
Posey was beaten out by St. Louis’ Yadier Molina in fan balloting to be the starting catcher, but he was elected as a reserve through the players’ vote. No surprise there, as the defending N.L. MVP is enjoying a strong season with a .310 average, 12 homers and 48 RBI.
Pablo Sandoval was beaten in fan voting by the New York Mets’ David Wright to be the N.L. starter at third base, and Sandoval did not make the team as a reserve.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy is managing the N.L. squad and had his choice of five pitchers and four position players. Notably, he left Dodgers rookie sensation Yasiel Puig off the roster, but Bochy did choose the five finalists for the final ballot fan vote, and he picked Puig along with Pence, Washington shortstop Ian Desmond, Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman, and Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez.
Bochy tapped Bumgarner, a 23-year-old lefty, for his first All-Star assignment. Bumgarner entered Saturday’s start with an 8-5 record and a 3.08 ERA through 17 starts. He has hands-down been the most consistent starter in a Giants starting rotation that has disappointed overall.
Some eyebrows will be raised that the Giants – who entered Saturday in last place in the N.L. West – got three players on the N.L. squad. As manager of last year’s N.L. pennant winner, Bochy will skipper the N.L. All-Stars, and he said before Saturday’s game that he would look to reward his own players who he thought were deserving.
He added: “Last year means a little bit, to be honest.”
Some sentimentality likely played a part in his selection of Scutaro, who is hitting .313 but has just two homers and 18 RBI. He entered Saturday ranked fourth in batting average among N.L. second baseman but 22nd in RBI among those to have played the position. He’s also struggled defensively, as his nine errors are tied for second-most among N.L. second basemen.
But Scutaro gave the Giants a huge push in the second half last year after being acquired from Colorado, and he was the N.L.C.S. MVP. Bochy may have wanted to reward the 12-year veteran – who will play in his first All-Star Game – and Scutaro had a good enough batting average at least to justify it.