When a call popped up on his phone from Rocco Baldelli earlier this week, just after breakfast, Twins starter Jose Berrios knew exactly why his manager was calling.
“Honestly, I’ve been waiting for that call all week,” Berrios said.
Baldelli didn’t have the chance to tell Berrios last Sunday that he had been named to the American League all-star roster when the teams were unveiled. With his first half performance, Berrios became one of the most glaring omissions.
But a few days later, Baldelli was finally able to deliver the news when Berrios was added to the roster.
“We’re all happy for him. This is a guy that works extremely hard. He’s done it out on the field. He’s performed all year long. He’s been great,” Baldelli said. “You add in the fact on top of the production and a guy that we lean on in a lot of ways that he’s just a phenomenal teammate and a guy that everybody pulls for, it’s just a great feeling for everyone.”
Berrios replaces fellow Twins starter Jake Odorizzi, who was placed on the injured list with a blister Wednesday, on the AL roster. It’s the second all-star nod for him in as many years.
“I started screaming,” Berrios said. “(My family) said ‘Why are you screaming?’ I said, ‘We’re going to Cleveland.’ ”
The 25-year-old is 8-4 this season with a 2.89 ERA and 102 strikeouts in 112 innings pitched. His ERA is ninth in the majors and sixth in the AL.
With Berrios’ inclusion, he is now the third Twin to be named to the all-star team, joining Odorizzi and shortstop Jorge Polanco. Polanco was voted in by the fans and will start the game.
“This one is still exciting for me because I’m going to be an all-star,” Berrios said. “That’s why every player goes out there and plays — to be an all-star player or to try to win a World Series championship. I had a chance to accomplish this goal. Now, I want to be ready for the next one.”
Unlike last year, Berrios didn’t make plans this year because he figured he might be getting a call. Last year, Berrios threw a scoreless inning in the American League’s 8-6 win.
Berrios faced his brother-in-law, Cubs’ star Javy Baez, in that game, retiring him. He said he hopes to have a chance to face him once again. This time around, he also plans on branching out a bit more and talking with more of the players around him.
“Last year, I was too shy and Ii didn’t speak to everyone over there,” he said. “This year, I want to meet everyone and spend more time talking to each one. I’m trying to put me and Polanco in the best position and have fun.”