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Hens' Bootcheck selected to All-Star game



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Chris Bootcheck was selected to play in the Triple-A All-Star Game in 2009, but wasn't able to participate in the event because of a family medical emergency.

Now Bootcheck gets a second chance.

The Mud Hens' relief pitcher was elected to the International League's midseason All-Star team, which was announced Wednesday. Bootcheck and the rest of the IL squad will face a team from the Pacific Coast League in this year's Triple-A All-Star Game July 11 at Buffalo's Coca-Cola Field.

RELATED ARTICLE: Pitching fails Mud Hens in Indy loss

The PCL team will be announced today.

"It was disappointing when I was with Indianapolis in 2009 to not attend that All-Star Game," Bootcheck said. "I'm glad I've been able to come back, do my job, and receive this honor."

Bootcheck was one of two relief pitchers who was elected to the team in a vote of fans (one-third of vote), media (one-third), and both managers and general managers from around the IL (one-third). Those groups combined to name one player at each position (except three in the outfield) as well as at designated hitter, along with two starting pitchers and two relievers.

The rest of the team is selected by the IL office, and all 14 teams are represented.

Bootcheck, 33, was the only Mud Hen named. He has a 1-2 record with 14 saves and a 3.62 ERA in 29 appearances. His 14 saves are second-most in the IL this season.

"This is absolutely an honor," Bootcheck said. "When [Hens manager Phil] Nevin called me into his office before the game to tell me, I was excited. And I was surprised that some other guys on this team weren't selected.

"When Nevin told me about it, the first thing I thought about were my teammates: The guys behind me who catch the ball and make the plays, the guys hitting and the guys who pitch before me and give me a lead.

"They are all part of this, too."

Bootcheck's honor marked the third time in five seasons a Toledo closer was named to the All-Star team. Blaine Neal earned that honor in 2008 and Jay Sborz was named in 2010.

Brantly in Futures Game

Mud Hens catcher Rob Brantly has been selected to play in Major League Baseball's Futures Game.

Brantly was chosen Wednesday as an injury replacement for Toronto Blue Jays prospect Travis d'Arnaud on the U.S. team for the game, which will be played July 8 at Kansas City's Kauffman Stadium.

Brantly began the season ranked as the Tigers seventh-best prospect by Baseball America. He hit .311 with three homers and 24 RBIs in 46 games for Double-A Erie and was promoted to Toledo June 6.

Brantly has hit .271 with no homers and five RBIs in 16 games with the Hens.

Two other Tiger prospects who will play in the game are 3B Nick Castellanos and RHP Bruce Rondon, both of Erie.

Contact John Wagner at:, 419-724-6481 or on Twitter @jwagnerblade.

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