Burnes joins Henderson and Rutschman as lone Orioles All-Stars

OAKLAND – The Orioles found out today that only one other player from the club that’s tied for the best record in the American League has been chosen for the All-Star Game.

If anyone else goes to Arlington, Texas, it will be as a late substitute.

Corbin Burnes made his fourth All-Star team in a row after going 9-3 with a 2.32 ERA, 1.021 WHIP and 14 quality starts in 18 outings. He didn’t appear in the last two games and must decide whether to leave his wife Brooke and their twin daughters. He rejoined the club in Seattle after going on the paternity list.

“Still going to have that conversation with my wife,” he said. “Obviously, just found out a little bit ago. She's already told me to go. So I'll see what the final decision is in the next day or so. But if I do go, definitely honored to be a part of it.

“It's a fun week. It's kind of one of those you never know when it's going to be your last. So I understand my wife's sentiments on me having to go to the game. We'll see what happens, but definitely just an honor to be selected.”

Burnes could start if he attends since he’s facing the Cubs on Wednesday night at Camden Yards. He’s available to pitch on an extra day of rest.

American League manager Bruce Bochy will make the decision on a starter.

“It’s been a little crazy, going back to really February,” Burnes said. “It’s kind of been a whirlwind this year. But I'm excited to be a part of an All-Star Game, honored to represent the Orioles and the American League. It's an exciting time. It's an exciting time of the year to join the teammates that have already been elected to the All-Star Game. To join them is pretty special. Just looking forward to another fun week.”

Burnes can accompany starters Gunnar Henderson and Adley Rutschman at Globe Life Field. Henderson is participating in the Home Run Derby on July 15, and the All-Star Game is played the following night.

The selection offers the possibility of Burnes pitching to Rutschman.

“That’d be awesome,” Burnes said. “If I’m given the chance to start, that’d be great. Obviously, never done it before. Not very many guys get the opportunity to start an All-Star Game, so that would be really cool, and to have Adley back there would make it even better.”

Burnes didn’t pitch in the last two games. He was in Denver in 2021, followed National League starter Max Scherzer and allowed two runs in two innings.

Just being on the club is an achievement. Burnes posted an 8.82 ERA and 1.837 in 32 games in 2019, making four starts before the Brewers optioned him. He returned as a reliever.

“It’s pretty cool,” Burnes said of his path to the present. “Growing up, you just want to try to play professional baseball. Then once you get into the pros, you want to play in the big leagues. For me, I never really dreamt of being an All-Star, winning a Cy Young. All those were just kind of afterthoughts, and just awards I guess for the work that we put in. Obviously, ’19 was a very tough year for me. So to bounce back and now have my fourth consecutive All-Star appearance is pretty special, just knowing from where I came from after that season, literally being one of the worst in the league to figuring it out and now able to go to my fourth All-Star Game, is pretty special.

“It's not only me. It’s the people who helped me get there. Obviously, a lot of work behind the scenes with staff and coaches and my family. My wife and kids putting up with it. It’s not easy being a big-league wife with the amount of travel and stuff we go through, so I appreciate her support and everything she’s gone through the past couple years. Definitely exciting.”

The Orioles wanted an ace for the top of their rotation and acquired Burnes from Milwaukee on Feb. 1 for left-hander DL Hall, infielder Joey Ortiz and future considerations. Burnes hasn’t disappointed, giving the club exactly what it needed. And his value soared after season-ending injuries to Kyle Bradish, John Means and Tyler Wells.

The All-Star nod seemed obvious but wasn’t anticipated by Burnes, who would be the first Orioles pitcher to start since Steve Stone in 1980. Hall of Famer Jim Palmer made four starts.

John Means was the last Orioles pitcher to make the team in 2019.

“I never expect to be an All-Star,” Burnes said. “You never expect to put up good results. For me, it’s going out and putting my work in to try to do the best I can. I know I’ve got a pretty good process and the stuff to do it, so it’s just a matter of going out and executing every time I go out there. Fortunately enough this year, we’ve been able to do that just about every time we go out. So it’s been a special season so far.

“A great group of guys to be around. They make coming to the yard fun, especially all those young guys in there, keeping me loose. Feels like you have a bunch of more sons in there than you do teammates, but it’s a fun group to be around. A lot of good baseball players. We’ve played great baseball. And outside of the All-Star Game, just looking forward to the second half with these guys.”

More of them were expected in Texas.

The Orioles had four representatives in Seattle last year. They haven’t sent five since 2016 with Zack Britton, Brad Brach, Matt Wieters, Manny Machado and Mark Trumbo, and 2013 with Machado, Chris Tillman, Chris Davis, J.J. Hardy and Adam Jones.

The 1969, 1971 and 1972 Orioles sent six players to the Midsummer Classic. The 1970 team, which won the World Series, had seven representatives: Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson, Boog Powell, Jim Palmer, Davey McNally, Mike Cuellar and Dave Johnson.

Only three this year, at least so far, is a shocker.

Players were called into manager Brandon Hyde’s office and given the news – good for Burnes and unfortunate for the rest.

Closer Craig Kimbel is a nine-time All-Star with 22 saves this season and 439 in his career to rank fourth on the all-time list. His ERA is down to 2.16 and WHIP to 0.900, and he’s averaging 13.5 strikeouts per nine innings.

“He’s having an All-Star first half,” Hyde said recently. “He’s been money for us.”

That wasn’t the case early in the season, when Kimbrel failed to convert four of five save chances and didn’t finish his inning. He was removed from the closer’s role for a brief reset and got on a tremendous roll with only one earned run allowed in 20 innings and 29 strikeouts.

“It says a lot about him, the professionalism and dealing with adversity and handling it well,” Hyde said. “Besides that little stretch, he’s been really, really good.”

Anthony Santander was a finalist among outfielders but finished third with two spots open. His 23 home runs, including his shot to right field today, are tied for fourth in the majors.

Possible detriments to his selection included a .233 average and .300 on-base percentage before today.

Jordan Westburg was runner-up to Cleveland’s José Ramírez for the starting job at third base. He was batting .282/.329/.509 with 20 doubles, five triples, 14 home runs and 49 RBIs in 82 games. The triples ranked first on the team and the doubles, slugging percentage and OPS were second.

Ryan O’Hearn would bring one of the more interesting stories to Texas. The Orioles acquired him from the Royals in January 2023 for cash considerations and designated him for assignment two days later. Now he’s in the lineup against right-handers as the designated hitter or first baseman and was batting .285/.346/.471 with 10 doubles, a triple, 11 home runs and 37 RBIs in 72 games.

O’Hearn was hitting .313/.353/.469 with 13 RBIs with two outs and runners in scoring position.

Houston’s Yordan Alvarez, who finished ahead of O’Hearn at designated hitter, left yesterday’s game after being hit on the right knee. Perhaps a door opens for O’Hearn, depending on the severity of the injury.

Ryan Mountcastle was a finalist at first base, losing out to Toronto’s Vladimir Guerrero Jr. He began today batting .271/.313/.459 with 21 doubles, a triple, 12 home runs and 42 RBIs in 81 games.

Grayson Rodriguez deserved consideration by going 10-3 with a 3.45 ERA and 1.218 WHIP in 88 2/3 innings heading into today’s assignment.

Dean Kremer starts Tuesday night against the Cubs at Camden Yards. Albert Suárez follows Burnes on Thursday.

Cade Povich, Rodriguez and Kremer would start the weekend series against the Yankees if the rotation stays on turn.


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