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Aramis Ramirez opts out, so Pablo Sandoval is an All-Star

Jul 10, 2011, 1:54 PM EDT

Pablo Sandoval AP

Manager Bruce Bochy will get to call on another Giant.

Aramis Ramirez would have been the choice to take Placido Polanco‘s spot on the NL All-Star team, but he’s following through with his plans to go home to visit family in the Dominican Republic.  As a result, Pablo Sandoval will go to his first All-Star Game.

There was a groundswell to make Sandoval an All-Star back when he was on his way to hitting .330 with 25 homers in his first full season in 2009, but there was no room on the roster for him then, and Sandoval was such a disappointment in 2010 that the Giants threatened to send him back to the minors to begin this season if he didn’t get into better shape.

Sandoval, though, did drop some weight, and he’s excelled when healthy during a 2011 season interrupted by a broken hamate bone.  He’s hit .305/.345/.505 with eight homers in 190 at-bats, and he carried a 20-game hitting streak into Sunday’s action.

Sandoval will be the lone Giants positions player on the NL roster, but he will have plenty of teammates to hang out with; Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Ryan Vogelsong and closer Brian Wilson were all originally picked for the squad last week.

4:45 p.m. EDT: And, apparently, I’m still wrong.  Sandoval is going to the All-Star Game, but he’ll be the replacement for Jose Reyes.  We still don’t know who is taking Polanco’s spot.  Presumably, it will be a shortstop (Stephen Drew?).

  1. gammagammahey - Jul 10, 2011 at 3:05 PM

    Is Ramirez officially considered an all-star for this season even if he declined the invite? I’m curious how that works for contractual bonuses specifically. And of course whether or not people get to cite that in future Hall-of-Fame debates.

    • Matthew Pouliot - Jul 10, 2011 at 3:07 PM

      No, CC Sabathia is an All-Star, since he was named to the team and then replaced. Ramirez wasn’t officially named to the team, though.

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