Share This Page

Pirates' Harrison, McCutchen, Watson picked for All-Star Game

| Sunday, July 6, 2014, 8:12 p.m.

Reigning MVP Andrew McCutchen will represent the Pirates at the All-Star Game for the fourth year in a row and will make his first start after collecting the most fan votes of any National League outfielder.

And he won't be the only Pirates player at the game.

In two of the more rare appointments in terms of roles, setup man Tony Watson and utility man Josh Harrison will be making their first trips to the All-Star Game, on July 15 at Target Field in Minneapolis. Both were selected to the team by manager Mike Matheny.

“You definitely appreciate it because it lets you know that the work you've done has not gone unnoticed,” said Harrison, who is the first utility player named to the NL All-Star team since Omar Infante in 2010. “It's one of those things where you don't want to get caught up in it but it's hard not to. It feels good.”

Harrison has made 49 starts at positions including right field, left field, third base and second base this season and is batting .298 with 21 extra-base hits, including five home runs, and 25 RBIs. Just last season he split time between Triple-A Indianapolis and the Pirates.

“Guys have been saying, ‘Get ready to go to Minnesota,' ” Harrison said. “You never really know. It's definitely a blessing and a dream come true.”

Watson knew his name had come up in conversations. With All-Star nods generally going to starters and closers, however, he felt he was on the outside looking in even though Pirates setup man Mark Melancon was picked in 2013 and, before him, Evan Meek in 2010.

“To be in the conversation was great,” Watson said. “To actually get picked is kind of surreal. It's just a great honor. There are other guys in the same role I am who are very deserving. I'm anxious to see the other guys who make the team because there are guys even in this division doing the same thing I'm doing so hopefully they get the accolades, too.”

Watson is in rare company. He has been charged with just one earned run since April 22 and his 0.59 ERA since Aug. 6, 2013, is the best among major league relievers. Since April 24, he has struck out 37 batters in 31 appearances and posted a 0.29 ERA and made 21 straight scoreless appearances before suffering a blown save June 16 at Miami. He has been scored on in just four of his 41 appearances and leads the majors with 22 holds.

He is the first left-handed reliever to make the All-Star team as a Pirate.

As of June 10, McCutchen was fourth among outfielders in fan voting, trailing the Dodgers' Yasiel Puig, Miami's Giancarlo Stanton and Carlos Gomez of the Brewers. In the final balloting update issued last week, he was first, and finished with 4,519,440 votes. Gomez was second with 4,068,745. He is the first Pirates player to start an All-Star Game since Jason Bay in 2006.

“It definitely takes us winning to get the recognition,” McCutchen said. “We've done that the past couple years, and we're doing a good job this year. It's good to see and I'm happy that the fans came out and voted. It's definitely an honor.”

He is the first Pirates' position player to be named to four consecutive All-Star Games since Bobby Bonilla from 1988-1991 and the first outfielder since Roberto Clemente from 1969-1972.

This is also the first time since 1990-1993 that the Pirates will send multiple representatives to the All-Star Game in four consecutive years. They will be joined by manager Clint Hurdle, who will serve as coach, and assistant athletic trainer Ben Potenziano.

McCutchen said every aspect of the All-Star Game is fun, and that no one thing stands above the rest. He said you have to make the most of it. It's a piece of advice he will get to share next week with his two teammates.

“They earned it,” McCutchen said of Watson and Harrison. “Both of them have been lights out all year. And then (Harrison) just getting the opportunity and wherever it is, he's made the most of it. You couldn't ask for more from both of these guys.”

Karen Price is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach her at kprice@tribweb.com or via Twitter @KarenPrice_Trib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.