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All-Star Rosters Announced

NEW YORK - With a bevy of aces to choose from for his National League All-Star staff, manager Charlie Manuel thought there was no reason to rush rookie sensation Stephen Strasburg into the Midsummer Classic.

"I say let him pitch and let him get his feet on the ground in the major leagues and kind of let him earn his way," Manuel said Sunday after Major League Baseball announced the rosters for the July 13 All-Star game in Anaheim, Calif.

AL MVP catcher Joe Mauer was the fan's favorite with 5,372,606 votes, the third- highest total ever. Albert Pujols earned the most votes in the National League.

The Mets' David Wright surged past the Phillies' Placido Polanco in the final weeks to win the NL starting third baseman spot. Wright had a super June, hitting .404 and driving in 29 runs while Polanco is on the disabled list because of a sore elbow.

Each squad still has one more spot on their 34-man rosters. Fans will make the decision, choosing from a list of five candidates in each league in an Internet runoff.

Strasburg's 100 mph fastball has captivated fans around baseball since the Washington Nationals called up the right-hander June 8. His manager, though, understands why his 21-year-old franchise player will have a few days off.

"I certainly see the logic. He hasn't been out there that much yet to be on the club," Jim Riggleman said. "I think there'll be some All-Star Games in the future."

Strasburg watched the selection show on a clubhouse TV, but was called away by team management after the first couple of pitchers were selected.

"I thought he had a pretty good shot," Nationals closer and All-Star pick Matt Capps said. "He's one of the top pitchers in baseball right now."

Strasburg still has a chance to be selected as a replacement for an injured player. One of Manuel's picks, Brewers right-hander Yovani Gallardo, injured his side Sunday and likely will miss the game.

Chase Utley was voted in as the starting second baseman for the NL, but he is out with an injured right thumb. He will be replaced in the lineup by Atlanta's Martin Prado.

Colorado's injured shortstop Troy Tulowitzki was chosen as a reserve by his peers. His spot will be taken by the Mets' Jose Reyes.

The other starters who will try to help the NL win its first All-Star game since 1996 are: Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina; Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez; and Milwaukee's Ryan Braun, Los Angeles' Andre Ethier and Atlanta's Jason Heyward in the outfield.

The 20-year-old Heyward, on the 15-day disabled list with a deep bone bruise in his left thumb, said Sunday he might play, using the appearance like a rehab start.

In the American League, Mauer is joined by Minnesota teammate Justin Morneau, the first baseman.

The other AL starters: Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano and shortstop Derek Jeter; Tampa Bay third baseman Evan Longoria; Texas designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero; and Texas' Josh Hamilton, Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki and Tampa Bay's Carl Crawford in the outfield.

The World Series champion New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox have a leading six All-Stars each, but Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia and catcher Victor Martinez are out with injuries.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi made several difficult decisions in finalizing the AL squad. He left off Andy Pettitte and took teammate CC Sabathia, both 10-game winners, and selected slugger Alex Rodriguez, who only has 12 homers but 61 RBIs.

Manuel was refreshingly honest when asked why he chose Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard and not Cincinnati's Joey Votto, who has similar power numbers as Howard but a big edge in on-base percentage (.414 to .353 entering Sunday).

"He's my guy, our player, my guy," Manuel said of Howard, one of his two position player picks. Votto is on the final five list.

Cincinnati's Arthur Rhodes made his first All-Star team at 40. In his 19th season, Rhodes has a 1.09 ERA in 37 appearances.

"His number speak for themselves," Manuel said. "He's got tremendous stuff and being left-handed definitely helped him."

All-Star rosters were increased by one player to 34 this year, but there are always complaints about who's absent. Blame that on all the factors that go into picking the squad -- every team must be represented, managers must deal with their own players, the need to have enough players at each position, nagging injuries and more.

The Braves and Cardinals each had five All-Stars to lead the NL.

Role player Omar Infante of the Braves might be the most intriguing pick. He is hitting .311 in only 168 at-bats but plays several positions, something that could be useful if there is a tie.

"That made my day. I give Charlie a lot of credit for that," teammate Chipper Jones said. "You usually don't see the utility guys get their due. Charlie's doing his homework."

The host Los Angeles Angels have one All-Star, center fielder Torii Hunter.