Rancho Cucamonga, CA - Eight former Quakes are headed to Minneapolis for the Mid-Summer Classic. Mike Trout and Erick Aybar of the Angels, Francisco Rodriguez of the Brewers and Scott Kazmir of the Athletics will join Dodgers Yasiel Puig, Clayton Kershaw, Zach Greinke and Dee Gordon at Target Field on July 15.
All four Dodgers selected to represent the National League have played for Rancho. Yasiel Puig played for the Quakes on his way up to the big leagues, while the other three made rehab appearances in Rancho. Puig was voted in as a National League starter by the fans. Through Sunday, the National League Player of the Month in May had 23 doubles and 12 home runs. The outfielder from Cuba hit .327 in 14 games for the Quakes in 2010.
Earlier this year, two-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw made his first career rehab appearance for the Quakes. On April 25 against Lancaster, Kershaw struck out six in five innings of work in front of a sellout crowd at LoanMart Field. Even while missing five weeks of the regular season, Kershaw is 10-2 with a 1.85 ERA while striking out 115 and walking just 12 for the Dodgers. The lefty tossed a no-hitter against Colorado on June 18 and recently had his streak of 41 consecutive scoreless innings broken. This is the fourth straight All-Star appearance for Kershaw.
Zack Greinke joins Kershaw on the National League's pitching staff. He is tied for the National League lead with 11 wins and has a 2.66 earned run average. This is the second All-Star selection for Greinke, and his first with the Dodgers. Last year, he was one of 14 Dodgers to rehab with Rancho. Last May, Greinke struck out four in 4.1 innings of work against Lake Elsinore. The first 1,500 fans to Rancho's game against High Desert on July 25 will recieve a Greinke bobblehead!
Dee Gordon's breakout season earned him a spot as a reserve on the National League team. The former shortstop has been the Dodgers' starting second baseman this year. He leads the majors with 42 stolen bases and nine triples. In a three-game rehab stint with Rancho in 2011, Gordon had three hits and two stolen bases.
The four Dodgers will be joined on the National League team by Francisco Rodriguez of the Milwaukee Brewers. As an Angels' prospect, Rodriguez struck out 147 batters in 113.2 innings as a starter for the Quakes in 2001. It is the fifth time Rodriguez has made an All-Star team in his career. He is currently tied with Atlanta's Craig Kimbrel for the major league lead with 27 saves.
Athletics' hurler Scott Kazmir made a rehab start with the Quakes in 2010 while with the Angels. The righty struck out six Inland Empire batters in 6.1 innings of work. The A's righty has rejuvenated his career this year with Oakland, going 10-3 with a 2.53 ERA for the team with the best record in baseball.
Mike Trout, who played for the Quakes when the team was an Angels' affiliate in 2010, will start for the American League. The outfielder leads the Angels with 20 home runs and 65 RBIs, and will start in the game for a second straight year. Trout received the most votes of anyone on the players' ballot. As an 18-year-old, Trout drove in 19 runs in 50 games for the Quakes in 2010.
An eighth Quake was recently named as an injury replacement for the American League. Erick Aybar was named to his first-ever All-Star team after a wrist injury sidelined Alex Gordon of the Royals. The Angels' shortstop slugged 14 home runs and had 50 extra-base hits in 136 games with Rancho in 2003 while strealing 51 bases. He also rehabbed with the Quakes in 2007 and 2008.
The All-Star Game will be played on Tuesday, July 15 at Target Field in Minneapolis, and it will be televised by FOX. Earlier in All-Star Weekend, current Quakes Corey Seager and Julio Urias are slated to participate in the MLB All-Star Futures Game. That game will be played on Sunday, July 13, and you can watch it on MLB Network or MLB.com.