Detroit — This is all moving pretty fast for Michael Fulmer. He’s OK with it, mind you, thrilled by it, truthfully. Still, he might need to catch his breath.
“It’s a blessing, it truly is,” said Fulmer, who was selected Sunday as the Tigers’ lone representative to the All-Star Game in Miami. “I didn’t think much about it until Brad (Ausmus) told me earlier today. Just to have the respect and votes from my peers and coaches and analysts and whoever else — it’s an honor to be able to represent this team.”
This is a guy who did not even make the Tigers’ 25-man roster out of spring training last season. Called up last April, he cruised through a magical first season, which was culminated by winning the American League Rookie of the Year award.
And now, his first All-Star Game.
“Not even in my dreams,” he said. “This past year and a half is what I’ve been thinking about my whole life — just not on this scale. When I heard the news, I was shocked by it. But the outpouring of support from my teammates — they all congratulated me and said they were happy for me — that was great.”
Ausmus said he was hoping Justin Upton or Alex Avila might have also been selected, but he was thrilled for Fulmer.
“He’s been by far our most consistent pitcher,” he said. “Last year I thought he deserved to go but he wasn’t well-known. This year, everybody in baseball is aware of who he is, being the American League Rookie of the Year and having a winning season.
“He’s picked up right where he left off. He’s more than deserving.”
The question is, will he be able to pitch in the game? He has two more starts before the break, Tuesday against the Giants and Sunday in Cleveland. Typically, starters who pitch on Sunday don’t pitch in the All-Star game.
“It would be my bullpen day,” Fulmer said. “So maybe I can get an inning.”
That will be determined later. Ausmus said the Tigers rotation wasn’t set in stone.
“I don’t think about stuff like this (being an All-Star),” Fulmer said. “I think about winning games and getting ready for my next start. I have two more before the break and I am thinking about those first. I’ve just never saw myself in this situation.”
Fulmer is 7-6 this season with a 3.19 ERA and 1.131 WHIP.
“I don’t know what to expect,” he said of the experience. “I watch it on TV every year, but to be able to be part of the festivities and be around all those stars, it’s going to be something I never forget.”
Knebel gets first nod
They say the Tigers can’t develop relief pitchers.
Corey Knebel, a first-round pick by Detroit in 2013 out of Texas, was named to his first All-Star team, with the Brewers.
Knebel, 25, traded from the Tigers to the Rangers in 2014 for Joakim Soria, has a 1.13 ERA and 68 strikeouts in 39.2 innings. He has at least one strikeout in all 40 of his relief appearances, and has racked up 13 saves.
LeMahieu goes again
Rockies second baseman D.J. LeMahieu made his first All-Star appearance in 2015, and will make his second in 2017.
In between, in 2016, all he did was win the National League batting championship.
LeMahieu, 28, a former Birmingham Brother Rice standout, is batting .303/.361/.381 with three homers and 38 RBIs.
Ex-Tigers receive the call
Only one Tiger is going to the All-Star Game, but several former Tigers are going — including Knebel, Indians reliever Andrew Miller, White Sox outfielder Avisail Garcia, Nationals ace Max Scherzer and Diamondbacks left-hander Robbie Ray.
Aaron Judge, Carlos Correa and Nolan Arenado were among 12 first-time starters elected, the most since voting was returned to fans in 1970. Just one player was picked from the champion Cubs: reliever Wade Davis.
This and that
Nationals slugger Bryce Harper led the fan voting with 4.63 million votes, while Judge, the Yankees phenom, led the American League with 4.49 million.
.... Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman, at age 32, is an All-Star for the second time, and first since 2009. He’s batting .335/.375/.619 with 19 homers.
Tony Paul contributed.
ALL-STAR GAME ROSTERS
Tuesday, July 11
At Marlins Park, Miami
x-starter; p-player ballot elected; m-choice of MLB
(Years All-Star in parentheses)
Manager: Terry Francona, Cleveland
Coach: Kevin Cash, Tampa Bay
p-Dellin Betances, N.Y. Yankees (4)
m-Yu Darvish, Texas (4)
m-Michael Fulmer, Detroit (1)
p-Dallas Keuchel, Houston (2)
p-Craig Kimbrel, Boston (6)
m-Corey Kluber, Cleveland (2)
m-Lance McCullers Jr., Houston (1)
p-Andrew Miller, Cleveland (2)
p-Chris Sale, Boston (6)
p-Ervin Santana, Minnesota (2)
p-Luis Severino, N.Y. Yankees (1)
p-Jason Vargas, Kansas City (1)
x-Salvador Perez, Kansas City (5)
p-Gary Sanchez, N.Y. Yankees (1)
p-Yonder Alonso, Oakland (1)
x-Jose Altuve, Houston (5)
p-Starlin Castro, N.Y. Yankees (4)
x-Carlos Correa, Houston (1)
p-Francisco Lindor, Cleveland (2)
x-Jose Ramirez, Cleveland (1)
p-Miguel Sano, Minnesota (1)
m-Jonathan Schoop, Baltimore (1)
x-Justin Smoak, Toronto (1)
p-Mookie Betts, Boston (2)
p-Michael Brantley, Cleveland (2)
p-Avisail Garcia, Chicago (1)
x-Aaron Judge, N.Y. Yankees (1)
x-George Springer, Houston (1)
x-Mike Trout, L.A. Angels (6)
p-Nelson Cruz, Seattle (5)
x-Corey Dickerson, Tampa Bay (1)
Final Vote candidates
SS Elvis Andrus, Texas
SS Xander Bogaerts, Boston
SS Didi Gregorius, N.Y. Yankees
1B Logan Morrison, Tampa Bay
3B Mike Moustakas, Kansas City
Manager: Joe Maddon, Chicago Cubs
Coach: Don Mattingly, Miami
p-Wade Davis, Chicago (3)
p-Zack Greinke, Arizona (4)
m-Brad Hand, San Diego (1)
p-Greg Holland, Colorado (3)
p-Kenley Jansen, L.A. Dodgers (2)
p-Clayton Kershaw, L.A. Dodgers (7)
m-Corey Knebel, Milwaukee (1)
p-Carlos Martinez, St. Louis (2)
m-Pat Neshek, Philadelphia (2)
p-Robbie Ray, Arizona (1)
p-Max Scherzer, Washington (5)
m-Stephen Strasburg, Washington (3)
p-Yadier Molina, St. Louis (8)
x-Buster Posey, San Francisco (5)
x-Nolan Arenado, Colorado (3)
x-Zack Cozart, Cincinnati (1)
p-Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona (5)
m-Josh Harrison, Pittsburgh (2)
p-Jake Lamb, Arizona (1)
p-DJ LeMahieu, Colorado (2)
x-Daniel Murphy, Washington (3)
p-Corey Seager, L.A. Dodgers (2)
m-Joey Votto, Cincinnati (5)
x-Ryan Zimmerman, Washington (2)
p-Cody Bellinger, L.A. Dodgers (1)
x-Charlie Blackmon, Colorado (2)
p-Michael Conforto, N.Y. Mets (1)
x-Bryce Harper, Washington (5)
m-Ender Inciarte, Atlanta (1)
x-Marcell Ozuna, Miami (2)
p-Giancarlo Stanton, Miami (4)
Final Vote candidates
1B Justin Bour, Miami
3B Kris Bryant, Chicago
3B Anthony Rendon, Washington
1B Mark Reynolds, Colorado
3B Justin Turner, L.A. Dodgers