Center fielder Andrew McCutchen and Joel Hannrahan will represent the National League in this year's All-Star game.
By Michael Sanserino Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
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 Sunday.
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 (15).
It is McCutchen's second All-Star selection -- he was an injury replacement on the National League team last season after Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun backed out of the game.
"Well, last year, I wasn't even supposed to go so," McCutchen said.
"[I] definitely wasn't expecting to go last year at all, and then a couple of people got hurt and the next thing you know I'm out there and I'm on the team.
"This year, I didn't really have to go through that, so it's definitely a lot different. It feels like it's more deserving."
Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp, voted a starter by fan vote, is on the disabled list with a strained left hamstring and likely will miss the game.
McCutchen said he is excited by the prospect of possibly starting in his place but said it would not carry the same meaning.
"I've always been a person that wanted something because I earned it, and that's what people wanted," he said.
"It would be awesome to get that, but for me, I'd still be feeling like I took someone else's place because someone got hurt."
Hanrahan has the third-most saves among NL closers (20) and has the second-lowest ERA (2.10) of all Pirates relievers. He has two blown saves.
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 as replacements.
The Pirates acquired Hanrahan in a trade with the Washington Nationals in '09.
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 All-Star Game will be held July 10 in Kansas City.