DETROIT — The White Sox put three pitchers on the American League All-Star team Sunday, and it hardly came as a surprise.
Their two starters selected, left-hander Carlos Rodon and right-hander Lance Lynn, can make cases for starting the game. Closer Liam Hendriks (2.57 ERA), the AL reliever of the month for May, leads the AL with 21 saves.
Lynn (2.02) and Rodon (2.37) rank second and third in the AL in ERA, Rodon (.177) and Lynn (.190) are second and third in batting average against. Rodon, who pitched a no-hitter against the Indians on April 15, is first in strikeouts per nine innings with 13.12. Lynn is eighth at 10.52.
Rodon is a first-time All-Star.
“Lance and Carlos deserve this,” Hendriks said before the Sox’ 6-5 loss to the Tigers on Sunday. “They’ve had outstanding years, and I happen to be riding their coattails a little bit. It still means a lot to me, not only because it’s my second but I’m the first Australian to ever go to two.’’ (Dave Nilsson and Grant Balfour went to one.)
While fans voted for 17 starters, players ballots and the commissioner’s office selected the reserves and pitchers named Sunday.
No Sox position players were selected. Catcher Yasmani Grandal was the strongest candidate, and third baseman Yoan Moncada, first baseman Jose Abreu and shortstop Tim Anderson also were possibilities. Catcher Mike Zinuno of the Rays, third baseman Jose Ramirez of the Indians, shortstop Carlos Correa of the Astros and first baseman Matt Olson of the Athletics were selected at their positions.
Hendriks was signed to a four-year, $54 million contract in the offseason, Lynn was acquired in a trade with the Rangers for Dane Dunning, and Rodon, after struggling in 2020 was non-tendered by the team that drafted him third overall in 2014. But he was signed to a one-year, $3 million contract — a deal that some scoffed at — chalking up three wins for general manager Rick Hahn’s offseason.
Fully recovered from Tommy John and shoulder surgeries, Rodon “has been nothing short of outstanding,” Hendriks said.
“The expectations have always been there on him and it’s not an easy thing to be a first-rounder and pole-vaulted into a rotation without kind of going through the works in the minor leagues,” Hendriks said. “But that was him. He had a lot of expectations on him. But this is who he is. This is what he always had in the tank.”
Lynn was fifth in 2019 and sixth in 2020 in Cy Young voting but not an All-Star. He did make it in 2012 with the Cardinals.
“It would be awesome for my family and I to enjoy it together,” Lynn said Friday. “I was able to do it in 2012. My 9-year-old [daughter] was eight months [then] so for her to go back and understand what is going on would be cool for me. I would cherish it.”
Rodon and Lynn start Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, against the Twins. With an off day Thursday, it will be their last starts before the All-Star break which begins next Monday, making both fully rested for the Midsummer Classic on July 13.
“You are allowed to go out there and have some fun,” Hendriks said. “It doesn’t have to be strictly performance, performance, performance. You can joke around with guys from the other team. Hopefully I can get an inning in there.”
The last time three Sox pitchers were named was 2006 when Mark Buehrle, Jose Contreras and Bobby Jenks joined Paul Konerko, Jermaine Dye, A.J. Pierzynski and Jim Thome.
The Sox had three All-Stars in 2019 — Lucas Giolito, Jose Abreu and James McCann.