Alek Manoah and George Springer expand Blue Jays all-star contingent to four

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SEATTLE — Alek Manoah’s fiery side is just part of the emotional package the Blue Jays starter brings to his profession.

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Off the mound, the sophomore big leaguer’s passion comes from prioritizing his family and teammates.

So it was a Sunday morning here at T-Mobile Park when Manoah learned from manager Charlie Montoyo that he would be traveling to Los Angels next weekend for the Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

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Center fielder George Springer was also added to the American League roster on Sunday when MLB announced pitchers and reserve players for the July 19 game at Dodger Stadium. This pair will join Alejandro Kirk and Vlad Guerrero Jr. who were voted starters for the Midsummer Classic.

« This morning (Montoyo) brought me into the office and he started off by saying he was grateful to be handling me and even prouder to be able to tell you that you are a star, » Manoah said. « It was a pretty cool moment.

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« I pride myself on being a really good team-mate and just trying to be a brother to all the guys here. For my manager to tell me it’s a pleasure to manage me…it means more than just throwing good games and all the accolades.

It was certainly a meteoric rise for Manoah, who made his major league debut on May 27, 2021 and established himself not just as the Jays’ rotation ace, but one of the league’s best starters. American.

« I think it’s going to be pretty cool sharing the field with all these guys and having a great time with them, » Manoah said. “It will be fun to get to know some of them.

« I’m a student of the game. I don’t know how many enclosures will be thrown, but I’ll watch as many as I can and try to pick some brains out and really take it all in and enjoy the moment.

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There was a lot to do on Sunday morning after his manager broke the news. Manoah spent several minutes walking in the outfield here, sharing the news with his family.

« (Manoah’s mother, Susana) was my first phone call, » the Florida native said. « We shared a few tears. I’m just super blessed. It’s pretty amazing.

For Springer, getting the All-Star Game call isn’t necessarily old hat, but it will be the veteran outfielder’s fourth invitation to the sport’s summer celebration. Montoyo was more discreet in breaking the news to Springer, who was honored nonetheless.

« It’s exciting, a nice surprise for a Sunday morning, » Springer said. “Obviously, that’s what we work for and it’s always special. « When I was a kid, you always used to sit and watch the All-Star Games and the festivities and all the guys that were there. And then when you have the chance to play there, it was extremely special.

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« I never take them for granted. »

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That being the case, there’s a chance Springer won’t make the trip to Los Angeles, given the aches and pains he’s had to deal with in recent weeks. The prospect of an all-star break may have as much or more appeal than the all-star game itself.

« I’ll cross that bridge once I get there, » Springer said. “Obviously, our team is the most important. I’ll make that decision when I get closer and I’m just excited to (learn the honor) today.

“I had the honor of playing in three of them and you love it. You’re in the clubhouse with some of the players you’ve played against and it’s a great experience for your family.

« Obviously three or four days off in the middle of the season is always important. But I don’t think anyone who will ever go will take that for granted.

It’s clear that recent times have been difficult for the Jays as a whole, but in the spirit of Manoah, the Jays can take some celebration — and maybe even motivation — in recognizing individual players.

« It’s definitely a positive note, » said Manoah, who kicked off a stellar game here on Saturday night, a 2-1 loss to the M’s. “Even though we struggled, we got four stars, which is pretty awesome. Most guys see it positively.

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