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Ohtani gets MLB All-Star nod

agence france-presse Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels could get a starting role on the mound as well at the batter’s plate in the MLB All-Star Game.

NEW YORK (AFP) — Los Angeles Angels dual threat Shohei Ohtani of Japan was named to the American League pitching staff on Sunday as complete lineups were revealed for this month’s Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

A combined 23 pitchers and reserves for each team were named for elite squads from the National and American leagues that meet on 11 July at Seattle.

They were determined by “player ballots” and the commissioner’s office after fan voting determined the position player starters, who were announced on Thursday.

Managers for each team will announce the starting pitchers on the eve of the game.

Ohtani, the batting-pitching threat who leads MLB with 30 home runs, was voted the AL’s starting designated hitter in ballots unveiled Thursday.

The 28-year-old right-hander also is allowing opposing hitters an MLB-low .180 batting average as a pitcher, which could get him a starting spot on the mound as well as swinging a bat.

Other AL pitchers included Houston’s Framber Valdez, Minnesota’s Sonny Gray, Seattle’s Luis Castillo and Gerrit Cole of the New York Yankees.

Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw, a 35-year-old left-hander, was selected for his 10th All-Star Game on the NL roster.

The three-time NL Cy Young Award winner as best pitcher made his first All-Star start last year in Dodger Stadium.

Other NL pitchers include Marcus Stroman and Justin Steele of the Chicago Cubs and San Diego’s Josh Hader.

AL starting fielders include four from Texas — catcher Jonah Heim, second baseman Marcus Semien, third baseman Josh Jung and shortstop Corey Seager — and outfielders Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees, Randy Arozarena of Tampa Bay and Mike Trout of the Angels.

NL All-Star starting fielders feature Atlanta catcher Sean Murphy and shortstop Orlando Arcia, Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman, Miami second baseman Luis Arraez, St. Louis third baseman Nolan Arenado, designated hitter J.D. Martinez of the Dodgers and outfielders Mookie Betts of the Dodgers, Ronald Acuna of Atlanta and Arizona’s Corbin Carroll.

Atlanta first baseman Matt Olson, who leads the NL with 28 homers and MLB with 68 runs batted in, was among the NL reserves along with teammates Austin Riley and Ozzie Albies, Will Smith of the Dodgers, Dansby Swanson of the Cubs, Pete Alonso of the New York Mets and Juan Soto of San Diego.

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