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Angels’ Jared Walsh earns All-Star nod; Shohei Ohtani selected as a pitcher

Angels batter Jared Walsh runs the bases
Angels batter Jared Walsh runs the bases after hitting a two-run home run against the Detroit Tigers on June 19.
(Kyusung Gong / Associated Press)

Jared Walsh didn’t know what Perry Minasian was up to.

When Minasian, the Angels general manager, walked into the clubhouse and called the team to attention Sunday afternoon, Walsh thought it might just be a midseason meeting, or maybe some other routine announcement.

“I was sitting next to [Patrick Sandoval],” said Walsh, the Angels’ 27-year-old first baseman, “and I was like, ‘Yeah, I don’t know what this is about.’”

After blowing a four-run lead, the Angels rallied in the ninth to defeat the Baltimore Orioles and complete the three-game sweep.

Minasian had far more exciting news: For the first time in his career, Walsh had been selected to the MLB All-Star Game.

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“He’s like, ‘Walsh, you’re going to the All-Star Game,’” Walsh recalled later on Sunday afternoon, before the Angels’ series finale against the Baltimore Orioles. Walsh later added with a smile: “It caught me by surprise … It was pretty special. I’ll remember that forever.”

In addition to Walsh’s selection, the league also announced Sunday that two-way star Shohei Ohtani had earned All-Star honors as a pitcher. Ohtani, who will also participate in the Home Run Derby the day before the All-Star Game, had already been voted into the game by fans last week as the American League’s starting designated hitter, becoming the first player in MLB history to earn All-Star honors as both a pitcher and position player.

With Walsh, Ohtani and Mike Trout — who also was voted into the game by fans but won’t be able to participate because of his calf injury — the Angels have three All-Stars in the same season for the first time since 2015.

Angels stars Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout were named All-Stars, voted by fans to be starters on the American League team.

In what has been his first season playing in an everyday role, Walsh has flourished over the first half of the year. Entering Sunday, he had a .284 batting average, .909 on-base-plus-slugging percentage, 20 home runs and 60 RBIs.

“You dream about everything — World Series, All-Star Games — but I never made one in the minor leagues,” Walsh said. “So this is pretty special, to do it at the Major League level.”

Walsh finished fourth in the fan vote among American League first basemen, but made the All-Star team as a reserve.

“You don’t want to get hung up on it, because you really don’t control any of it,” Walsh said of the voting process. “Thankful I got in, though.”


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