Tommy La Stella thankful for All-Star votes


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These are all of the finalists for the Starters Election, which begins Wednesday at 9 a.m. PT and runs through Thursday at 1 p.m. The winners will be unveiled on ESPN that night starting at 4 PT. Players who do not get elected starters are not automatically added to the

These are all of the finalists for the Starters Election, which begins Wednesday at 9 a.m. PT and runs through Thursday at 1 p.m. The winners will be unveiled on ESPN that night starting at 4 PT. Players who do not get elected starters are not automatically added to the team as reserves — they will be determined through a combination of “Player Ballot” choices and selections made by the Commissioner’s Office. All-Star pitchers and reserves will be announced on Sunday, June 30, at 2:30 p.m., also on ESPN.

ST. LOUIS — The Angels’ social media team is working on a plan to promote both outfielder Mike Trout and second baseman Tommy La Stella, who were named finalists at their respective positions on Friday for the inaugural Google MLB All-Star Starters Election.

Trout was the AL’s leading vote-getter (3,370,499 votes) and is considered a lock to become the first player in Angels history to be elected as an All-Star Game starter by the fans seven times. But La Stella (1,713,094 votes) figures to be locked in a close battle with the Astros’ Jose Altuve (1,629,148) and the Yankees’ DJ LeMahieu (1,312,490) at second base.

The Angels have some time to come up with a campaign for Trout and La Stella, as the 28-hour voting period doesn’t begin until Wednesday. Beginning then, voters will choose among the finalists to decide which players get to start for the American League and National League in the Midsummer Classic at Progressive Field in Cleveland on Tuesday, July 9.

La Stella, for his part, said he’s just honored to be named a finalist, as the 30-year-old has never been an All-Star in his six-year career. But he’s off to a surprisingly strong start this year, hitting .296/.351/.504 with 15 homers and 41 RBIs in 70 games entering Saturday. La Stella’s previous career high in homers was five, and he had just 10 homers in 396 games coming into this season.

La Stella, who played with the Cubs the previous four seasons, said he believes his former club’s fanbase might be helping his cause. The Angels are looking into a potential partnership with the Cubs to promote La Stella next week.

“It’s pretty crazy to think about, honestly,” La Stella said about being an All-Star finalist. “There could’ve been some help from Chicago, which is pretty cool to think about. Whoever voted across the country, and I’m sure there are some Japanese fans who watch the game, thank you. It means a lot, not only to me but my friends and family who supported me to get to this point.”

La Stella was the leading vote-getter at second base in the Primary Round, but Altuve and LeMahieu are likely to make it a close race at the position. Altuve, a six-time All-Star, has the most recognizable name among fans but has lost time due to injury this year, while LeMahieu, a two-time All-Star, is having a strong year and has the advantage of playing in the New York market.

“Whoever goes is deserving,” La Stella said. “There’s not a wrong choice.”

The 2019 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard will be played on Tuesday, July 9, at Progressive Field in Cleveland. It will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 180 countries. FOX Deportes will provide Spanish-language coverage in the United States, while ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage. MLB Network, MLB.com and SiriusXM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. During the game, fans may visit MLB.com and the 30 club sites to submit their choices for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. For more information about MLB All-Star Week and to purchase tickets, please visit AllStarGame.com and follow @MLB and @AllStarGame on social media.

Worth noting

• Right-hander Trevor Cahill could rejoin the Angels as a reliever after struggling in his rehab start with Triple-A Salt Lake on Friday night. Cahill, on the 10-day injured list with right elbow soreness, gave up seven runs on six hits over 2 1/3 innings.

“We haven’t decided how he’s going to be used or where he’s going to be used, or exactly when,” Angels manager Brad Ausmus said. “He’s pitched 50-plus times out of the bullpen [in his career]. It gives us options. Our goal is to make our pitching better, so we’ll consider that as an option.”

• Right-hander Matt Harvey remains sidelined with an upper back strain, and Ausmus said there’s still no timetable for his return. Harvey recently started baseball activities but hasn’t thrown off a mound since suffering a setback in his rehab start on June 8.

“I’m not sure of the timeline,” Ausmus said. “I’m not sure it will be before the All-Star break.”

Rhett Bollinger covers the Angels for MLB.com. He previously covered the Twins from 2011-18. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.



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