Ohtani elected to start at DH in 4th straight All-Star Game, joins Judge as only holdovers

NEW YORK (AP) — Shohei Ohtani became the first player elected to start at designated hitter in four straight All-Star Games, joined by New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge as the only holdovers from last year in the lineups announced Wednesday for the July 16 game at Arlington, Texas.

Philadelphia could have three of the four National League infielders after fans voted shortstop Trea Turner and third baseman Alec Bohm to start alongside first baseman Bryce Harper, whose status is uncertain because of a leg injury.

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.

Six teams have two starters each: Yankees outfielder Juan Soto was voted in alongside Judge, who gained his berth last week with Harper as the top vote-getters from each league in the first round of balloting. The second round was from Sunday until Wednesday.

Baltimore catcher Adley Rutschman and shortstop Gunnar Henderson were elected along with Houston second baseman Jose Altuve and DH Yordan Alvarez; Cleveland third baseman José Ramírez and outfielder Steven Kwan; San Diego outfielder Jurickson Profar and Fernando Tatis Jr.; and Milwaukee catcher William Contreras and outfielder Christian Yelich.

Toronto first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Arizona second baseman Ketel Marte also were voted in.

Philadelphia last had three elected infielders in 1982 with Pete Rose, Mike Schmidt and Manny Trillo. Harper went on the injured list on June 28 because of a strained left hamstring but could return ahead of the All-Star Game.

Tatis hasn’t played since June 21 because of a stress reaction in his right thigh bone and may be sidelined past the All-Star break.

Pitchers and reserves will be announced Sunday.

Ohtani is an All-Star for the fourth straight season but first since leaving the Los Angeles Angels for a record $700 million, 10-year contract with the Dodgers. He was an unprecedented two-way All-Star from 2021-23 but isn't pitching this season while he recovers from reconstructive elbow surgery.

David Ortiz started at DH in three straight All-Star Games from 2011-13.

Altuve earned his ninth All-Star trip and sixth as a starter, Ramírez his sixth selection and third as a starter and Guerrero his fourth overall and third as a starter.

Alvarez, Bohm, Contreras, Henderson, Kwan, Profar, Rutschman and Soto are among eight first-time starters. Soto is making his fourth All-Star trip, his first for the AL.

“It means a lot. It’s a lot of hard work," Soto said at Yankee Stadium. "Been grinding a lot. Finally got my first start, so it’s pretty cool.”

No players were elected to start from the host Rangers, who had four starters at last year's game in Seattle: second baseman Marcus Semien, shortstop Corey Seager, third baseman Josh Jung, and catcher Jonah Heim.

Profar became an All-Star for the first time in his 11th big league season. He remained on the free-agent market until a week into spring training before agreeing to a $1 million, one-year deal with the Padres.

In the closest NL vote, Tatis (15.36%) edged the Dodgers' Teoscar Hernández (15.26%) and the Phillies' Brandon Marsh (14.73%) for the third outfield spot. Turner beat out injured Dodgers shortstop Mookie Betts 51-49%.

In the AL, Alvarez edged Baltimore's Ryan O’Hearn 52-48% at DH and Kwan beat out the Orioles' Anthony Santander 28-26% for the final outfield spot.

During the first round of voting from June 5-27, Guerrero trailed Baltimore’s Ryan Mountcastle, Hernández topped Tatis, and Betts was ahead of Turner.


AP Baseball Writer Mike Fitzpatrick contributed to this report.


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