TORONTO — Aaron Boone summoned Gleyber Torres into his office before Sunday afternoon’s game and decided to have some fun with the 21-year-old rookie.
“I called him in and was like, ‘Have you done any work today? What’s going on with your leg? You’re probably going to have to get that right so when you go to D.C. next week, you can tip your cap properly,’ ” Boone said. “He was excited.”
That was Boone’s way of telling Torres, on the disabled list with a right hip strain, that he had been picked for the American League All-Star team.
Torres will be joined at Nationals Park in Washington next week by teammates Aaron Judge, Luis Severino and Aroldis Chapman and possibly Giancarlo Stanton, who is in the Final Vote competition.
Torres, who started the season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and wasn’t elevated to the big leagues until April 22, is unlikely to play in the game because of the injury, but that didn’t lessen his enthusiasm.
“Yeah, it’s a huge experience,” said Torres, hitting .294 with 15 homers and a .905 OPS in 63 games. “First of all, I feel grateful for the fans who support me for the opportunity. I think it’s a good show and I’ll try to enjoy every second when I go and try to have a good experience.”
He smiled recounting how Boone broke the news to him.
“He told me something about the rehab,” Torres said. “When he told me I was going to the All-Star, it felt super-great. I’m happy for that.”
Severino, 24, who is 14-2 with a 2.12 ERA, made the team for a second straight season. Unlike last year in Miami, he is assured of pitching. And though he won’t campaign for it, he has a strong chance of starting the game.
“He won’t endorse himself?” said Stanton, who has rebounded from a brutal start to hit 21 homers and drive in 51 runs. “You see what he does every five days? That’s plenty enough endorsing.”
Severino would have appeared in last year’s game, won in 10 innings by the American League, only if it had gone to the 11th. Now he says he just wants to pitch, period. “I don’t know where or what spot,” he said. “But I just want to pitch and be part of the game.”
Judge, 26, voted into the starting lineup for a second straight season, commanded much of the attention in Miami by winning the Home Run Derby in impressive fashion, a crown he won’t be defending this year. Judge, who is hitting .280 with 25 homers and a .971 OPS, called getting to go to another All-Star Game “humbling.”
“First and foremost, I have to thank my team for always putting me in the right position. They’re always getting on base, always just helping me out,” he said. “I wouldn’t be in this spot without them.”
Chapman, an All-Star for a fifth time, somewhat quietly has put together one of his best seasons. He is 24-for-25 in saves with a 1.42 ERA. He’s done much of it while managing tendinitis in his left knee, probably making it a 50-50 proposition that he’ll pitch in Washington.
“It depends how I feel,” he said through his translator. “We’ve got a couple of days to see how I feel then. If I’m feeling good, yeah, for sure.”