ANAHEIM — The Angels are sending a pair of two-way players to the All-Star Game.
Jared Walsh, who spent time as a pitcher during first stint in the majors in 2019, was named to the All-Star roster on Sunday, joining his more celebrated teammate — a legitimate two-way player — Shohei Ohtani.
Mike Trout was also voted to start the All-Star Game, but he’s injured and won’t be able to play.
Ohtani was voted as the starting DH for the American League, but he was also voted by the players onto the team as a pitcher. It remains to be seen whether Ohtani will actually pitch in the game.
Angels Manager Joe Maddon has already given his blessing, with Ohtani scheduled for his final pitching appearance before the break on Tuesday, a full week before the All-Star Game.
Walsh, however, is done as a pitcher, having proven to be so good as a hitter that he’s now a full-time first baseman.
Walsh was hitting .284 with 20 homers and a .909 OPS heading into Sunday’s action. He lost out to MVP candidate Vladimir Guerrero Jr. for the nod as the American League’s starting first baseman.
“I think you dream about the World Series, and All-Star Games and all that kind of stuff but I never made (an All-Star Game) in the minor leagues, so this is pretty special to do it at the major league level,” Walsh said.
Walsh earned everyday playing time with a hot month last September, but this season he was bouncing between right field and first base until the Angels let Albert Pujols go. Since then, he’s played first nearly every day.
“Showing up to the park now and you’re probably gonna be playing that day is makes it a little bit better going to the field for me personally,” Walsh said. “So the fact that I’ve gotten consistent opportunities has been really huge.”
The Angels will have three representatives on the All-Star team for the first time since 2015, when Trout was joined by Albert Pujols and Hector Santiago.
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