The St. Louis Cardinals will have a trio of players representing them at the All-Star Game in Phoenix next week, including one in the starting lineup.
Outfielder Lance Berkman was voted by the fans to start in the National League outfield, his sixth trip the All-Star Game but his first as a member of the Cardinals.
Matt Holliday was passed by the Dodgers’ Matt Kemp in the final days of the online voting for the starting lineup but was selected to the team by the players’ vote as a reserve. It will be Holliday’s fifth trip to the Midsummer Classic and his second with the Cardinals.
Catcher Yadier Molina was also selected by the players as a reserve, his third-straight All-Star appearance. The Cardinals catcher entered Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays with a .283 average and continues to be recognized as the premier defensive catcher in baseball.
After one of the worst seasons of his career in 2010 when he hit just .248 with 14 home runs and 58 RBIs, Berkman has found a fountain of youth since signing in the offseason with St. Louis. Big Puma entered Sunday’s game with a .297 average, 21 home runs and 59 RBIs.
Holliday was either on the disabled list or physically diminished for about a month but still entered Sunday’s game with a .321 average, 10 home runs and 40 RBIs.
Notably absent from the All-Star Game is three-time MVP Albert Pujols, who had been named to the team in nine of his first 10 seasons in the big leagues. The only other season he missed the Midsummer Classic was in his second season in 2002.
Pujols had a rough first two months of the season and then landed on the disabled list June 20 with a broken bone in his left wrist. He is hitting .279 with 17 home runs and 45 RBIs.
Both Berkman and Holliday should receive consideration for the Home Run Derby, which will take place Monday July 11. The Brewers’ Prince Fielder, the 2009 Home Run Derby Champion, will select three National League contestants to join him in the new team format.
The All-Star Game will take place Tuesday, July 12, at 7 p.m. Central on FOX.
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