(Reuters) – Baltimore slugger Nelson Cruz was named to Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game on Sunday, one season after serving a 50-game suspension in conjunction with baseball’s performance-enhancing drugs scandal.
New York Yankees captain Derek Jeter, who is retiring after this season, and team mate Masahiro Tanaka, the Japanese rookie who has the most wins of any pitcher in the American League, also were selected by Major League Baseball for the July 15 game in Minnesota.
For the National League, Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig will make his All-Star debut after controversially being omitted last year.
Cruz, 34, will be the American League’s designated hitter. The slugger is tied for the Major League-lead with 27 home runs after signing with Baltimore in the off-season.
Orioles outfielder Adam Jones will join Cruz in the American League starting lineup. Baltimore catcher Matt Wieters was also voted to start by the fans, but is injured and will be replaced by Kansas City’s Salvador Perez.
Jeter will make his 14th appearance in the All-Star Game and be reunited with Seattle second baseman Robinson Cano, who left the Yankees in the off-season.
Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout, Detroit’s two-time defending most valuable player Miguel Cabrera, Oakland third baseman Josh Donaldson and Toronto outfielder Jose Bautista also will be on the American League starting lineup.
Tanaka, who has exploded onto the scene with 12 wins, will join a pitching staff that includes Seattle’s Felix Hernandez, reigning Cy Young winner Max Scherzer of the Tigers, Texas’s Yu Darvish, Boston’s Jon Lester, Tampa Bay’s David Price, Oakland’s Scott Kazmir and Toronto’s Mark Buehrle.
Puig will play in the National League outfield alongside Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen and Milwaukee’s Carlos Gomez.
St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina will make his sixth straight All Star appearance. Arizona first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, Philadelphia second baseman Chase Utley, Milwaukee third baseman Aramis Ramirez and Colorado shortstop Troy Tulowitzki also will be in the National League infield.
Pitchers include Dodgers starters Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke, San Francisco’s Madison Bumgarner, St. Louis’s Adam Wainwright, Atlanta’s Julio Teheran, Washington’s Jordan Zimmermann, Cincinnati’s Johnny Cueto and San Diego’s Tyson Ross.
(Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles, editing by Gene Cherry)