The White Sox were all but guaranteed to send two players to the July 15 All-Star Game at Minnesota, and first baseman Jose Abreu and ace starting Chris Sale seemed to be locks.
The Sox did get two players -- Abreu and shortstop Alexei Ramirez -- and Sale could make it three if he gets enough fan support on the Final Vote.
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"I've already given my pitch to a couple people," teammate Adam Eaton said of Sale's candidacy. "I might take to Twitter now. What is he, 8-1? That's impressive. And the one loss, he had a win versus the Angels with that fluke, well Mike Trout is pretty good, kind of a fluke grand slam.
"(Sale's) a great player, and I really do think he's an all-star. My honest opinion, I think he's the best pitcher in baseball. I really do believe so."
Missing five weeks earlier in the season with a flexor muscle strain obviously hurt Sale's chances of making his third straight all-star trip, but like Eaton said, the 25-year-old lefty is 8-1 with a 2.16 ERA and 96 strikeouts in 87⅓ innings.
Clearly, Sale deserves to be at Target Field next week, and he should get plenty of fan votes.
"Yeah, just having the opportunity," Sale said after the White Sox beat the Mariners 1-0 Sunday afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field. "I mean, any time it's an honor really to go, but to even be thought of as going is still an honor. I appreciate being able to go through this process. Hopefully, we pull it out."
Abreu and Ramirez are all-stars for the first time, under different circumstances.
Tied for the American League lead with 27 home runs and third with 69 RBI, Abreu is a rookie this season and this is probably the first of many All-Star Game honors.
"The first thing I have to do is thank the people here in Chicago and thank the people that have helped me get used to playing baseball here in the United States and in the big leagues," Abreu said through a translator. "The list is long but the people that have helped me adjust and helped me do what I've done, it's a long list. I can't thank them enough.
"I also want to thank the players and the people that selected Alexei and me to go to the All-Star Game. It really is an honor. I can't tell you how happy I am. It's a bit much."
Ramirez is in his seventh season with the White Sox, and this is the 32-year-old shortstop's first All-Star Game nod.
"I'm still a little in shock," Ramirez said through a translator. "It's the recognition of a lot of the hard work that I've put in here and we've put in as a team. It's a great honor. These past seven years have been tremendous. I just can't help but appreciate the opportunity I've been given by the organization."
In addition to being one of the best defensive shortstops in the game, Ramirez has a .286/.320/.408 hitting line along with 8 home runs, 41 RBI and 14 stolen bases.
"I think the first time's always nice, and to be considered one of the great players in the league and to be an all-star is special," manager Robin Ventura said. "I think they're both excited. They're deserving. They both had great first halves and it's a feather in your cap that you take forever.
"Alexei has worked hard, he's worked very hard this year to be able to get this. Just happy for him, happy for Jose, for all the work they do that they're recognized by their fellow players."