Albert Pujols, Miguel Cabrera named to 2022 MLB All-Star Game rosters under ‘special selections’ designation

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Albert Pujols and Miguel Cabrera have been selected to Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game, the league announced on Friday. Pujols and Cabrera were described by the league as “special selections,” a nod toward commissioner Rob Manfred’s newly obtained power to add one player of historical significance to each roster. (Manfred gained that ability as part of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement between MLB and the MLB Players Association.)

Manfred released the following statement:

“I am delighted that Albert Pujols and Miguel Cabrera have agreed to participate in the All-Star Game. Albert and Miguel are two of the most accomplished players of their generation. They have also represented the baseball traditions of the Dominican Republic and Venezuela with excellence for the last two decades. Albert and Miguel are two all-time greats whose achievements warrant this special recognition.”

Pujols, who indicated this is his final season when he rejoined the St. Louis Cardinals over the offseason, has hit .200/.288/.336 (80 OPS+) with four home runs in 146 trips to the plate thus far. Of course, his naming to the All-Star Game has more to do with his overall achievements rather than anything he’s done this season. Indeed, Pujols currently has a 144 career OPS+ to go with 683 home runs and 99.1 Wins Above Replacement, according to Baseball-Reference’s calculations. This will be Pujols’ 11th All-Star Game.

Cabrera, in the penultimate guaranteed year of his contract with the Detroit Tigers, joined the 3,000 hit club back in April. He’s hit .308/.347/.372 (108 OPS+) with three home runs in 274 plate appearances. For his career, he has a 144 OPS + and 505 home runs to go with 68.9 Wins Above Replacement, again per Baseball Reference. This marks Cabrera’s 12th All-Star Game.

Both Pujols and Cabrera easily clear the statistical thresholds often required to be voted into the Hall of Fame.

MLB will announce the starters for the American and National Leagues on Friday night. The full rosters will then be revealed on Sunday evening.

This year’s All-Star Game is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, July 19. It’ll be played at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. The 2020 All-Star Game was supposed to originate from Dodger Stadium, but the COVID-19 global pandemic forced the league to scrap it as well as the rest of the standard All-Star Week festivities.

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