BOSTON -- There is the chance that the reigning World Series champs, who performed as one of the best teams in baseball from wire-to-wire in 2013, are represented by just two players at this year's All-Star Game in Minnesota.
Jon Lester is a lock. And Koji Uehara will very likely end up on the American League All-Star team if and when a pitcher who has been named to the 34-man roster opts to declare himself unavailable for the game.
But a couple of big names who helped carry the Red Sox to its latest World Series title were omitted: David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia.
Lester said he was surprised more of his teammates weren't given the All-Star nod.
"Yeah a little bit, but I don't know what that attests to or whatever," Lester said. "You'd figured there would be a few more guys."
Sox manager John Farrell will serve as the AL manager, and as such he had seven selections of his own he could make to the team after the fan and player selections had been determined.
He explained his reasoning for not using one of his selections on Ortiz, who has 19 homers and 55 RBI on the season.
"There was a couple of conversations that led up to the selection of it," Farrell said. "When you start to look at those who have been voted in both by the fans and by the players and then you get a stack of guys at each position. Then [I] had a chance to talk to David and felt like the four days of rest might be more advantageous to him. And he was a pro about it, spoke his mind and really had a lot of input into the decision."
Ortiz was gracious to his AL competitors at the designated hitter spot when discussing his omission after Sunday's 7-6 extra-inning loss to the Orioles.
As it currently stands, Baltimore's Nelson Cruz will start for the AL at DH. Victor Martinez of the Tigers (player vote) and Edwin Encarnacion of the Blue Jays (manager selection) have also been named to the team.
"All-Star Game is something that's got a lot of choices and there are a lot of guys doing really well," said Ortiz, a nine-time All-Star. "Me and John we had a conversation, and I'm a big fan of guys that have a really really good first half making it to the All-Star Game. There's a couple of guys ahead of me this year at my position.
"Me and John had a conversation, he asked me how I feel about it. I said I don't feel like taking those guys' places. I don't think it's fair. Have guys like Nelson Cruz and Victor and Encarnacion having unbelievable seasons. They dont have as many All-Star Games as I have so just keep it real. They're having better season than what I'm having, and they're well-deserving."
Pedroia has made four All-Star teams and is usually among the top vote-getters in the American League at second base. Though he isn't having the offensive year statistically that would normally earn him a nomination, Farrell said Pedroia was in the conversation for other reasons.
"Very difficult" to not choose Pedroia, Farrell explained. "Again, when you start to narrow down the number of things you have to take care of and account for in addition to the voting of the places where the votes come from . . . Pedey, what he represents for us, as many years as he’s been named to the All-Star roster . . . You want your guys to be on that club and represent the organization. Another difficult decision.”
Pedroia wasn't too concerned about not being selected.
"No," he said smiling. "Need some sleep, man."
There is a chance that Red Sox players other than Lester and Uehara are added to the AL roster. Ortiz may have the best chance of making the team as an injury replacement. Encarnacion is reportedly headed for the disabled list after injuring his leg against the A's on Saturday.
"We have a couple of situations we’re waiting to get updates on injury-wise from other clubs but we’re not at the point of being able to comment on that yet," Farrell said when asked if more of his players would end up as All-Stars.