Two of the St. Louis Cardinals’ four 2012 All-Stars will be in the starting lineup for the National League on July 10 at Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium. They are shortstop Rafael Furcal and right-fielder Carlos Beltran. Beltran will be playing in his seventh mid-summer classic while Furcal will be in his second All-Star Game, but making his first appearance in the starting lineup.
Yadier Molina was selected as a reserve by player vote. It is the catcher’s fourth consecutive all-star berth on the heels of four straight Gold Gloves. In a bit of a surprise, pitcher Lance Lynn was also named to the NL squad. After a very strong start to the season, his first in the Cardinals rotation, Lynn has endured three consecutive rough outings.
Beltran ranks among NL leaders in batting (.310, 10th), home runs (20, 2nd), RBI (61, 1st), walks (38, 8th) and RBI/AB (4.4, 1st). He logged a 12-game hit streak in June and currently has an eight-game hit and RBI streak. Beltran was named NL Player of the Week for the period of May 7-13.
Update: Beltran was also chosen to be a member of the NL Home Run Derby team by captain Matt Kemp.
Furcal, who won the fan vote at shortstop, has a strong defensive reputation. He ranks in a tie for fourth in the league runs scored with 52 and tied for 15th in hits with 84. Molina is tied for second among NL catchers in home runs (12) and is first in RBI (44). Lynn is 10-4 with a 3.62 ERA with his win total tied for second in the league.
Third baseman David Freese is one of the five players up for fan vote in competition for the 34th and final member of the National League roster. Outfielder Matt Holliday and pitcher Kyle Lohse are other Cardinals that seemed competitive for being selected, but did not make the team.
Starters were elected by fans while pitchers and reserve players were named to the All-Star Game rosters via a ballot of players, managers and coaches as well as by NL manager Tony La Russa, in conjunction with MLB.
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