There won’t be any need to shift Derek Jeter over to shortstop, a la Cal Ripken Jr. in 2001, in his final appearance at the Midsummer Classic.
Jeter will start at shortstop in his last trip to the game next week, 16 years after he made his first All-Star Game.
The 40-year-old is batting just .266 with two homers and 28 runs scored, but won the starting vote easily over second-place vote-getter Alexi Ramirez. Jeter finished with 3.9 million votes and led most of the way.
“It feels good,” Jeter told reporters Sunday from Minnesota, where the Yankees were finishing up a four-game set. “All-Star Games are fun. Having the opportunity to come back here is special. It’s the last one for me. I’m extremely happy.”
It’s hardly a surprise Masahiro Tanaka will be joining him in Minnesota in his first year in the majors. The Japanese import is 12-3 with a 2.27 ERA and 130 strikeouts in 122 2/3 innings. He leads the majors in wins and complete games, and could be in line to start the game. Red Sox manager John Farrell will make the final decision on who will be starter.
Jeter and Tanaka were expected, but the surprising choice was relief pitcher Dellin Betances, who was selected by the players’ ballot. Betances is tops in the majors in ERA (1.61) among pitchers with at least 50 innings. He has stepped right into a critical spot, setting up for closer David Robertson and done an excellent job.
Metro spoke to Betances last week about the possibility of making his first All-Star Game.
“I’d be honored,” Betances said. “You’re talking about guys that you grew up watching — unbelievable players. I haven’t really thought too much about it, but I’d be honored.”
The Mets waged a campaign to get David Wright into his eighth All-Star Game, but the team’s captain lost to the Brewers’ Aramis Ramirez.
Instead, second baseman Daniel Murphy will be the Mets’ only representative in the Midsummer Classic. It is Murphy’s first appearance. He is hitting .295 with a .345 on-base percentage and seven home runs.
Follow Metro New York Sports Editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports.