Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell pitches June 9 during an MLB game in St. Petersburg, Fla. (Chris O’Meara / Associated Press)

Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell pitches June 9 during an MLB game in St. Petersburg, Fla. (Chris O’Meara / Associated Press)

Shorewood grad named to American League All-Star team

Rays left-hander Blake Snell was arguably the biggest snub when the initial rosters were announced.

By Marc Topkin

Tampa Bay Times

Rays left-hander Blake Snell is going to the All-Star Game after all.

Snell, a graduate of Shorewood High School, was named as a replacement for Cleveland’s Corey Kluber on the American League team for Tuesday’s game in an announcement by Major League Baseball.

Snell certainly had a good case to be named to the original squad on Sunday, with a 12-4 record and 2.09 ERA that at the time was the lowest in the AL.

But he was passed over, in what many observers considered the biggest snub. Rays officials, teammates, TV analysts, other players and even some from outside baseball, such as ESPN basketball broadcaster Dick Vitale and Snell’s friend Odell Beckham Jr., showed their support.

Five starters were voted in by the players, who cast their ballots three weeks prior when Snell, after losing to the Yankees, was a less eye-popping 8-4 with a 2.58 ERA. He then went 4-0 with an 0.63 ERA before losing Thursday to the Twins.

Those choices, though, were hard to quibble with: Justin Verlander (Astros), Luis Severino (Yankees), Gerrit Cole (Astros), Chris Sale (Red Sox) and Kluber.

Two more starters were named by MLB among its five picks from teams that had no other selections and had to be represented: Jose Berrios of the Twins and J.A. Happ of the Blue Jays.

Then when Verlander made it known he wouldn’t be available to pitch, MLB named Cleveland’s Trevor Bauer to replace him rather than Snell.

Snell said he was disappointed at the time but buoyed by the support.

He will go to Washington with Rays catcher Wilson Ramos, who was voted the AL starter, and manager Kevin Cash, who was selected as a coach.

This will be the ninth straight year the Rays have had a pitcher named an All-Star. Only the Yankees have a longer current streak in the AL.

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