Koji likely to be named All-Star later this week
Red Sox's closer 'next up' if a Sunday starter can't pitch in Midsummer Classic
BOSTON -- Red Sox closer Koji Uehara isn't an All-Star just yet, but it sounds like there's a very promising chance he will be by the end of the week.
While revealing the selections, manager John Farrell indicated that Uehara will get added if one of the American League All-Star pitchers who is slated to start on Sunday chooses to give up his roster spot.
Yankees righty Masahiro Tanaka is scheduled to pitch on Sunday.
"Koji Uehara is a candidate, the next up, in the event that a Sunday starter does not elect to pitch in the All-Star Game," said Farrell.
Uehara also had a strong chance to make the team last year, and he was one of the five AL Final Vote candidates, but he fell short. That's why he is being guarded about his chances this year.
"I still can't say that I will be honored or anything, because I haven't actually made the team," Uehara said through an interpreter. "Even last year, I had a chance but wasn't able to. So I'd like to comment on it once I actually make the team."
The 39-year-old Uehara certainly has All-Star numbers. In 40 games, he is 4-2 with a 1.30 ERA and 18 saves. Over 41 2/3 innings, he has six walks and 52 strikeouts.
Was Uehara surprised the players around the league didn't vote him in?
"No, not at all," said Uehara. "I have some things to do during the All-Star break myself."
If Uehara doesn't become an All-Star, he has a two-word explanation of what he will do.
"Play golf," Uehara said.
Farrell had eight selections that were his to make, but four of them were dictated by teams who needed to be represented.
Jon Lester, Boston's lone All-Star thus far, was selected by Farrell.
"There were five starters and three relievers that were voted on by the players. [Uehara] was not in that group," Farrell said. "It's very difficult. There's going to be guys that were left off this team who were deserving. Unfortunately, we've got a lot of things that we have to deal with in terms of the representation of every team, a 13-man pitching staff. There's a number of things that go into it, and ultimately there are some very difficult decisions that come down to this."
Immediately following the announcement of the AL and National League All-Star rosters on Sunday, fans began voting to select the final player for each league's 34-man roster via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian. Fans can cast their votes from a list of five players from each league until the winners are announced after the voting concludes on Thursday at 4 p.m. ET.
The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again have fans help choose the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com and via Twitter in the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote Sponsored by Pepsi, and their collective voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
MLB.TV Premium subscribers, for the first time, will be able to live stream the All-Star Game via MLB.TV through FOX's participating video providers. Access will be available across more than 400 platforms that support MLB.TV, including the award-winning MLB.com At Bat app. MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.
The 85th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.