MLB notes: Darvish, Freese win all-star spots

Rangers starting pitcher Yu Darvish (above) and Cardinals third baseman Josh Freese have earned the...

Rangers starting pitcher Yu Darvish (above) and Cardinals third baseman Josh Freese have earned the final two spots in the MLB All-Star Game. (MIKE STONE/Reuters file photo)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:38 PM ET

Texas Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish and St. Louis Cardinals third baseman David Freese will make their all-star debuts next Tuesday after winning a fan vote to complete the rosters.

Darvish, a rookie right-hander from Japan, became the eighth Texas player on the 34-man AL roster, while Freese held off Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper on Thursday, the final day of voting, to make the NL team.

Freese was the World Series MVP last fall and will be reunited with former St. Louis manager Tony La Russa, who is coming out of retirement to manage in the midsummer classic.

HARPER SET TO FIGHT FIRES

Teen sensation Bryce Harper has a backup plan just in case this baseball thing doesn't work out.

Harper, who has a five-year, $9.9-million contract with the Washington Nationals, told the team's official blog that if he wasn't playing baseball he would be a firefighter.

"Ever since I was growing up, I wanted to be a firefighter or a baseball player," said the 19-year-old outfielder, who was hitting .280 with eight homers and 23 RBI through 59 games entering play Thursday night.

"Going into the off-season, I'm going to get my EMT (emergency medical technician) and do the firefighting thing so I have something to fall back on."

CAPPS GIVING IT A SHOT

Minnesota Twins closer Matt Capps, who is recovering from inflammation in his right shoulder, is scheduled to throw his first bullpen session Saturday.

Capps, who has been on the disabled list since June 24, could make a couple of rehab appearances in the minors next week if all goes well.

The 28-year-old right-hander has a 3.42 earned-run average with 14 saves in 27 appearances this season.

BRIEFLY

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. acknowledged reports Thursday that slugger Ryan Howard could be back in Philadelphia this weekend after wrapping up a rehab assignment. "I guess it's possible," Amaro said. "But we'll see how he feels the next day or so." Howard, coming off surgery on his left Achilles tendon, was scheduled to start at first base in back-to-back games Thursday and Friday at triple-A Lehigh Valley ... The Atlanta Braves have placed pitcher Jonny Venters on the 15-day disabled list because of a left elbow impingement and recalled pitcher Luis Avilan from triple-A Gwinnett. Venters, a 27-year-old left-hander has struggled this season, compiling a 3-3 record and 4.45 ERA ... The Pittsburgh Pirates have placed outfielder Alex Presley on the seven-day disabled list with a concussion and recalled infielder Jordy Mercer from triple-A Indianapolis. Presley, 26, was hurt as he dove to make an attempt at a fly ball Wednesday ... The Seattle Mariners have optioned slumping pitcher Hector Noesi to triple-A Tacoma. The 25-year-old right-hander has a 2-11 record with a 5.77 ERA in 17 starts and has dropped his past eight decisions. The Mariners recalled outfielder Carlos Peguero from Tacoma ... The Los Angeles Angels, as expected, have placed right-hander Dan Haren on the 15-day disabled list because of a stiff lower back. Haren hasn't been sharp this season, compiling a 6-8 record and a 4.86 ERA.


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