“Obviously, it’s an honor to make the team,” Sanchez told mlb.com about his selection this season. “To be chosen by Charlie, Tony [LaRussa] and Joe [Torre], those are some Hall of Fame managers. For them to even consider me was an honor. It’s an honor to be able to represent the Pittsburgh Pirates.”
It is Sanchez’s third All-Star honor, as he played in his first game in 2006. He also made the NL squad in ’07 — making both teams as a reserve.
The 80th All-Star Game will take place July 14 at Busch Stadium in St. Louis. Pregame ceremonies will begin at 5 p.m.
Philadelphia’s Chase Utley was voted the starting second baseman by the fans. Sanchez will be one of three second basemen for the NL team, as they are joined by Los Angeles Dodger Orlando Hudson.
Sanchez is Pittsburgh’s lone representative. He is the first Pirates player since Jason Kendall to be a three-time All-Star. He is also one of 20 Pirates in the history of the organization to make three All-Star appearances, joining standouts Arky Vaughn, Paul Waner, Roberto Clemente, Smoky Burgess, Bill Mazeroski, Willie Stargell, Dave Parker and Barry Bonds.
After struggling last season with a shoulder injury and eye ailments, Sanchez came into spring training healthy for the first time in two seasons. He has been able to thrive, becoming the Pirates’ most consistent hitter.
“I feel like I worked to get my shoulder right, to get my body feeling good,” Sanchez told mlb.com. “It’s definitely rewarding that much more, knowing the effort that I put into the offseason and that I’m still putting in as the season goes on.”
Sanchez missed three games last week after experiencing lower back spasms. However, he said he expects the symptoms to subside this week and he should be ready for next week’s game.