Lee, Turnbow, Capuano on All-Star team
Two Brewers elected by players' ballot, one by manager
Carlos Lee is headed back to the All-Star Game and, this time, he'll have some company.
Lee, the Brewers outfielder who is on pace for another career year, and Derrick Turnbow, the fan favorite who has developed into one of the National League's most feared closers, will represent Milwaukee in the 77th All-Star Game on July 11 in Pittsburgh.
Lee made his first All-Star team last season and participated in the CENTURY 21 Home Run Derby on ESPN, an event he plans to skip this year. Turnbow is a first-time All-Star and the second Brewers closer to make the squad in the last three years (Dan Kolb in 2004).
Both Turnbow and Lee made the cut via the players' ballot.
"Shock," Turnbow said, asked about his reaction to the news after the Brewers' loss to the Twins on Sunday. "It's pretty hard to make it, and I never thought I'd be a Major League All-Star. I'm very fortunate for the opportunity, and it's amazing. Words can't really describe it, to be honest. It's pretty special."
Lee knows that honor first-hand. He set a franchise record with 76 RBIs before the All-Star break last season and traveled with Brewers owner Mark Attanasio to Detroit for the 76th Midsummer Classic.
Now in his second season in the NL, Lee led all Brewers with 25 home runs and 66 RBIs when rosters were announced Sunday afternoon. He was tied for fourth in the NL in both those categories and struck out just 33 times in his first 309 at-bats.
"I'm having the season that I always have," said Lee, who is in the final year of his contract. "I don't try to do too much out there. I go do my best, and whatever happens is going to happen. It's not like I think about [the All-Star Game]."
Lee has played through intensifying trade rumors this season. The Brewers, who picked up Lee's $8.5 million option last winter, must decide whether to sign him to an extension, trade him before the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline or keep him, making a run at the franchise's first postseason bid in 24 years and worrying about contracts after the season.
"You don't have to worry when you're having the kind of year he's having," Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said. "He's having fun, and you get the feeling he likes playing here, which is good for us."
Lee finished third in last year's Home Run Derby but was not the player in the second half that he was in the first. After playing all 162 games, Lee hinted that he would skip the derby should the opportunity face him in the future. Last week, citing a sore right hand that he tweaked on a swing in mid-June, he reiterated an intention to pass.
"I don't know now, because of my sore hand," he said. "This time I might have to pass it up."
Maybe Turnbow could fill in. The burly, bushy-haired Brewers closer puts on a power display when pitchers take batting practice, but he will likely be limited to the pitcher's mound in Pittsburgh.
As of Sunday's announcement, Turnbow ranked second in the league with 23 saves and is on pace to break the franchise record he shares with Kolb.
"I've heard from plenty of guys -- [Reds manager] Jerry Narron, for one -- who tell me that if they had Turnbow it would make a world of difference on their club," Melvin said.
"It's pretty amazing. I can't believe it," Turnbow said. "It hasn't hit me yet. Maybe when I get there it will, but right now it hasn't. I'm still focused on trying to go out there and get the job done and help our team win and finish strong in the first half. It's pretty special."
Turnbow had plans to spend the All-Star break at his offseason home in Phoenix, where the Brewers begin the second half on July 14. He'll have to let that plane ticket go to waste.
"That's one of those things where it's all right," Turnbow said.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.