Waino, Molina, Carp, Neshek named All-Stars
NL manager Matheny most excited to tell reliever, who made squad for first time
ST. LOUIS -- Cardinals manager Mike Matheny finalized the National League All-Star roster two days ago, but it wasn't until Sunday morning that he was able to gather his players and share the names of the four players who will be joining him in Minnesota next week.
Matheny went around the room, announcing that, as the winner of the fan vote for the fourth time in his career, Yadier Molina would be the NL's starting catcher. He congratulated Adam Wainwright on being named to the team through the player/manager vote, and notified Matt Carpenter that he would be going to the All-Star Game for a second straight year. Matheny was most exited, however, about notifying Pat Neshek, non-roster invitee turned setup man, who at 33 years old is now a first-time All-Star.
"It hit a different level of volume when I announced Pat," Matheny said of the clubhouse reaction. "His response was priceless. He was astonished, I think. You look at everybody's individual trail that they're on to get here, and some of the adversity that guys go through make something like this even sweeter. Once again, though, [it's] completely deserved. I don't think anybody is going to argue that."
This is the third straight year the Cardinals have had at least four players named to the All-Star team, which Matheny will manage for the first time in his career. Here is a closer look at the four:
Adam Wainwright, RHP
Prior ASGs: 2010, 2013
ASG W-L: 1-1
ASG Stats: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K
How he made 2014 AL/NL team: Player selection
Why he's an All-Star: Wainwright, the NL's first pitcher to win 11 games, was also the league's ERA leader (1.89) as of Sunday's All-Star Game roster announcement. He has pitched three complete games, including two shutouts, and has allowed one run or fewer in 11 of his 17 starts.
Did you know?: Wainwright would not have been a Cardinal if not for a December 2003 trade in which the Braves sent the former first-round Draft pick to St. Louis for J.D. Drew and Eli Marrero. Ten years later, Wainwright received the largest contract the franchise has ever given to a pitcher.
Quotable: "It's a tremendous honor. To be voted in by the players is something that will mean something for me and be a notch on the belt. When you look back on your career, you can say, 'Wow, the players thought I was good enough one year to make the All-Star team.' That's pretty special. -- Wainwright
Yadier Molina, C
Prior ASGs: 2009-13
ASG W-L: 3-2
ASG Stats: 3-for-6, 1 2B, 1 R, 1 RBI
How he made 2014 AL/NL team: Elected by fans
Why he's an All-Star: Though Molina's offensive production hasn't matched up to recent years, he remains arguably the game's best defensive catcher. The six-time Gold Glove Award winner has thrown out 50 percent of the runners trying to steal against him.
Did you know?: Molina, the youngest of three brothers to catch in the Majors, is the first catcher in franchise history to be named to the All-Star team in six consecutive seasons.
Quotable: "That's what you work for in the offseason. It's a great honor for me, for my family, and I wanted to thank the fans for taking the time to vote for me. It's a great time. Any time you have a chance to be a starter, it's a great feeling. You have the chance to be on the field with a bunch of All-Stars." -- Molina
Pat Neshek, RHP
Prior ASGs: None
ASG W-L: N/A
ASG Stats: N/A
How he made 2014 AL/NL team: Manager selection
Why he's an All-Star: Among all NL relievers with at least 30 innings pitched, Neshek boasts the lowest ERA (0.77) and WHIP (0.57). Since April 9, Neshek has allowed one run in 35 appearances.
Did you know?: This All-Star appearance will bring Neshek home to his native Minnesota, where he also played the first four seasons of his Major League career. His brother is a member of the Twins' grounds crew team.
Quotable: "[Matheny] said, 'And going back to his hometown ...' and that's when everything, for me, I tuned out everything. I shook my head and thought, 'This is a reality.' I thought there was a chance, [but] baseball doesn't really make a spot for setup guys." -- Neshek
Matt Carpenter, 3B
Prior ASGs: 2013
ASG W-L: 0-1
ASG Stats: 0-for-2, 1 K
How he made 2014 AL/NL team: Manager selection
Why he is an All-Star: Carpenter leads the Cardinals with an on-base percentage of .378, ranks second among NL leadoff hitters with 32 RBIs and is in the league's Top 10 in runs scored and walks. Carpenter's versatility to play five positions weighed into Matheny's decision to name him to the team.
Did you know?: With his breakout season in 2013, Carpenter set franchise records for doubles (55) by a left-handed batter, topping Stan Musial by two. He also set a Busch Stadium III record with 112 hits.
Quotable: "The first one in your career will always be the most thrilling. There are so many emotions and so much excitement, and it was here and gone before I was able to soak it in. This one, I think, will really be one where I can sit back and take in the moment. I can just have fun and enjoy the experience, and it will help because I know somewhat what to expect. But it still is special." -- Carpenter
Immediately following the announcement of the American League 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 3 p.m. CT.
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.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.