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Kipnis and Masterson get All-Star nod

RAY ROBINSON | 7/17/2013, 2:53 p.m.
The Cleveland Indians, who have been up and down all season, will send two players to the 2013 MLB All-Star ...

The Cleveland Indians, who have been up and down all season, will send two players to the 2013 MLB All-Star game.

Starting pitcher, Justin Masterson, and second baseman, Jason Kipnis, have been tapped to represent the Tribe in this year’s Midsummer Classic to be played in New York at Citi Field, the stadium the New York Mets call home. It will be the first time that either ballplayer has made it to the “big game.”

The best part about their selection is that they were handpicked by the Detroit Tigers’ skipper, Jim Leyland. With the Tigers and the Indians both battling for the number one spot in the American League Central Division, it speaks volumes about how our players are viewed by not only their fans, but by players and managers from other teams.

“Jason has proved through his play that he deserves to be on the team,” Leyland said. “He was red-hot when it came to stolen bases. That alone gave him the edge over a few other players.”

Kipnis is the first Indians second baseman to make the All-Star squad since 2004 when Ronnie Belliard was tapped to appear. Kipnis, who is only in his second year as a starter for the Indians, was overjoyed about the selection.

“This is something that I have dreamed about since playing in Little League. It is every players dream to make it to the All-Star game and to win a World Series. Now, I’ve just got to get to the World Series.”

Kipnis was voted the AL Player of the Week twice during the month of June. And just think, he was batting a mere .189 in early May.

Masterson was also surprised at getting the nod. The second year starter and Opening Day pitcher said that it was “awesome” to be named to the team.

Nasty Masty, as he is called by team mates and fans alike, leads the AL in innings pitched (128 2/3), shutouts (3) and innings pitched (128 2/3) as of Sunday night. In 19 starts, he has logged 131 strikeouts and 49 walks. He is third in the league in strikeouts. He also leads the AL in groundouts with 151.

Pitcher, Dennis Martinez, was the last Indians pitcher to have at least three shutouts in a season. Martinez made his mark in 1994.

The 84th All-Star game will be played on July 16.

Cutline:

Justin Masterson, Indians’ 10-7, 3.78 ERA starter, took the mound against the American League Central Division first-place rival Detroit Tigers on Friday night. (Photo by Ray Robinson)