PHILADELPHIA – Tommy Hanson and Craig Kimbrel had to wait until Sunday night to find out if either was selected to replace the Giants’ Matt Cain on the National League All-Star roster.
Cain was pitching Sunday night in San Francisco in an 8 p.m. eastern start in the ESPN game. By virtue of the fact that he was scheduled to pitch on Sunday, it was clear he’d be ineligible for the All-Star game on Tuesday.
But manager Bruce Bochy had to wait until Cain actually pitched to release his choice for a replacement, in case of rain or some other unforeseen reason why Cain might not pitch.
Phillies left-hander Cole Hamels was in a similar situation Sunday afternoon, but Major League Baseball could announce his replacement shortly after the Phillies-Braves game started at 1:39 p.m.
Hamels was replaced by Pirates pitcher Kevin Correia because Correia was next highest vote-getter on the player ballot and Hamels was a players’ choice. Cain was a manager’s pick.
While Hanson and Kimbrel were expected to fly back to Atlanta with the team Sunday evening, the Braves three remaining All-Star selections were headed to Phoenix on a commercial flight from Philadelphia.
It was an especially exciting time for first-time picks Jair Jurrjens and Jonny Venters, who join six-time All-Star Brian McCann. Chipper Jones is staying in Atlanta to recuperate from Saturday’s arthroscopic surgery on his right knee.
“I’m looking forward to spending time with my family,” Venters said. “Getting to go through this with them is special. And I’m looking forward to the guys, getting to hang around all of those guys. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity, so I’m excited about that.”