ST. LOUIS -- The Pirates will have at least two All-Star representatives, as the players voted outfielder Andrew McCutchen and Joel Hanrahan to the National League team, Major League Baseball announced today.
Both players represented the Pirates in the 2011 All-Star game.
"It's a great honor, a great feeling to be able to [go] back this year," Hanrahan said. "Two years in a row is pretty exciting."
McCutchen leads the Pirates in batting average (.346), on-base percentage (.401), hits (97), runs (47), RBIs (51) and stolen bases (14). He also is tied with Pedro Alvarez for the team lead in home runs with 15.
It is McCutchen's second All-Star selection -- he was an injury replacement on the National League team last season when Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun backed out of the game.
Hanrahan has the third most saves of all National League closers (20) and has the second lowest ERA (2.10) of all Pirates relievers. He has two blown saves this season. He ranks second among Pirates relievers in batting average against (.163) and WHIP (1.07).
He was the lone Pirate to be named to the 2011 All-Star team until McCutchen and Kevin Correia were added to the team as replacements. The Pirates acquired Hanrahan in a trade with the Washington Nationals in 2009.
Hanrahan said he was surprised to be added to the team and figured starting pitchers James McDonald and A.J. Burnett and reliever Jason Grilli could have been selected instead of him.
"I was shocked that I was one of them. ... I thought I was on the outside looking in, possibly," Hanrahan said. "Obviously we're excited to have two guys picked on the first day, but we felt like we could have had more."
Burnett has won a team high nine games, including his past eight starts. McDonald leads all Pirates starters in ERA (2.44), strikeouts (86), innings pitched (96.0) and batting average against (.200). Grilli is having the best season in his 10-year major league career. He leads all Pirates pitchers in ERA (2.05) and batting average against (.157).
The 2012 All-Star Game will be held July 10 in Kansas City.
Michael Sanserino: email@example.com, 412-263-1722 or on Twitter @msanserino. First Published July 1, 2012 2:15 PM