Dodgers starting pitchers Hyun-Jin Ryu, Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler were named to the National League All-Star team Sunday. They joined outfielder Cody Bellinger, who was elected as a starter by fans, as the Dodgers’ representatives for the exhibition in Cleveland on July 9.
It is the first time the Dodgers had three starting pitchers chosen as All-Stars since 1962.
The 32-year-old Ryu will not only appear in his first All-Star game, but he will start it for the National League, Dodgers and National League manager Dave Roberts announced.
“It’s an incredible honor and it’s a privilege to get a chance to make the team, let alone get a chance to start the game,” Ryu said through an interpreter.
Ryu was picked via the player vote, finishing second in the tally behind Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals. The left-hander leads the majors with a 1.83 ERA and a 13.43 strikeout-to-walk walk ratio. He ranks second in WHIP (0.90). He has compiled 94 strikeouts to just seven walks.
He is the fourth player from South Korea to be selected for the game. He joins Chan-Ho Park, Byung-Hyun Kim and Shin-Soo Choo.
“They all mean a lot,” Kershaw said. “I think from where I was in spring training to where I am now, I don’t know if I necessarily thought I’d get to go. So with that [said], I think that’s a little bit more rewarding, especially after not getting to go last year.
Buehler is an All-Star for the first time in his second full season. He was named after finishing fifth in the player vote.
The 24-year-old right-hander had a 5.22 ERA in six starts through April after a limited spring training, but rebounded over the next two months. Buehler has posted a 2.66 ERA with 80 strikeouts to five walks in 67 2/3 innings across 10 starts since May 1.
Bellinger is the Dodgers’ only All-Star among their position players — at least initially.
Max Muncy is arguably the biggest snub in the National League. The infielder — he’s split time between first base, second base and third base — entered Sunday with 20 home runs and a .933 on-base-plus-slugging percentage.
His FanGraphs WAR of 3.2 was tied for sixth in the National League while his 3.5 Baseball Reference WAR was tied for fourth. Every player tied with him or better is an All-Star, making him a logical choice if an injury replacement is needed.
“If something does change, he deserves that opportunity,” Roberts said. “But it’s a good thing. I think we’re very well-represented.”
Pollock, Freese take next step
Roberts said A.J. Pollock and David Freese were scheduled to face live pitching Sunday at the club’s spring training facility in Arizona for the first time since going on the injured list.
Freese has been on the injured list with a hamstring strain since June 23, retroactive to June 21. The 36-year-old first baseman is expected to return this week.
Pollock, 31, was put on the 10-day injured list April 30 with an elbow infection and was transferred to the 60-day list last week. He hopes to play in the Dodgers’ first game after the All-Star break in Boston.
Corey Seager also is in Arizona and is slated to return in Boston. Roberts said he and Pollock are expected to begin rehab assignments by the end of the week.