Matheny reveals NL All-Star batting order
Cutch to start in center and lead off for Senior Circuit; Gomez to shift to left field
MINNEAPOLIS -- After weeks of preparing his roster and gleaning advice on how to best soak in his first All-Star experience, National League manager Mike Matheny got to work on Monday.
During a noon CT news conference, Matheny unveiled the NL lineup and named Cardinals right-hander Adam Wainwright as the NL's starting pitcher. Wainwright, a three-time All-Star, will be the first St. Louis pitcher to start an All-Star Game since Chris Carpenter did so in 2005.
"Very deserving pitchers out there," Matheny said, "but I believe none more so than our starter, Adam Wainwright."
Matheny's lineup, which features the top vote-getters at each position, starts with defending NL MVP Award winner and center fielder Andrew McCutchen at the top. McCutchen earned the nod to play center over Milwaukee's Carlos Gomez, who will shift to left field for this game.
"It's not an easy decision and [I] realize you can't go wrong either way," Matheny said of determining his outfield alignment. "I think we're just going off of experience and we're talking an MVP player. Andrew McCutchen is one of those standout players defensively."
Yasiel Puig will hit behind McCutchen and fill out Matheny's outfield.
Colorado shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, Arizona first baseman Paul Goldschmidt and Miami's Giancarlo Stanton, who will be the NL's designated hitter, provide Matheny with a stacked middle, in that order. Tulowitzki and Stanton entered the All-Star break tied for the league lead in home runs with 21.
Because fans do not elect a DH out of the NL, Matheny made that choice from his list of reserves.
"He's a pretty impressive guy," Matheny said of Stanton. "I think anybody who has had to deal with him and watch the impact he has on the game, an impact he has on the lineup, you have to give a great deal of respect not just on the power … but the ability he has to turn around the game on one pitch. I'm not sure I've seen a guy since [Mark] McGwire that hits the ball as hard as Stanton does."
Three of the bottom four spots in the NL lineup will feature Brewers. That includes third baseman Aramis Ramirez, who will bat sixth, as well as catcher Jonathan Lucroy (eighth) and Gomez (ninth). Lucroy was a late addition to the starting lineup after Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina injured his right thumb and had to be replaced. It is the second time in three seasons that Molina has been voted an All-Star by the fans but has been unable to start.
Phillies second baseman Chase Utley, hitting seventh, rounds out the NL starters.
"It is a great honor to be a part of this event, and just trying to put this together and being actively involved in the selection process, I have to tell you, I had no idea what I was getting into," Matheny said. "I guess it's similar to the millions of people playing fantasy baseball, only I got to do it with real people."
National League All-Star lineup
1. CF Andrew McCutchen, Pirates
2. RF Yasiel Puig, Dodgers
3. SS Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies
4. 1B Paul Goldschmidt, D-backs
5. DH Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins
6. 3B Aramis Ramirez, Brewers
7. 2B Chase Utley, Phillies
8. C Jonathan Lucroy, Brewers
9. LF Carlos Gomez, Brewers
SP. Adam Wainwright, Cardinals
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.