First-timer Ruiz joins All-Star vets Hamels, Papelbon

First-timer Ruiz joins All-Star vets Hamels, Papelbon

MIAMI -- In any other season, there might be more smiles, more laughter, more back slaps and congratulations.

Carlos Ruiz is honored and excited to make his first National League All-Star team, but he is not going to go overboard in expressing it. It is difficult right now, considering the Phillies are 36-45 and in last place in the NL East, 11 games behind the first-place Nationals.

"He's not going to give you too much, especially at this point," Phillies right-hander Roy Halladay said following Sunday's 5-2 loss to the Marlins at Marlins Park. "It's been tough as a team, so he's not going to celebrate his individual achievements. But it definitely means a lot to him. I know he's excited to go."

Ruiz, who will join teammates Cole Hamels and Jonathan Papelbon for the July 10 game at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, tried his best to express his excitement following the loss.

National League roster
Starters
C Buster Posey, SF
1B Joey Votto, CIN
2B Dan Uggla, ATL
SS Rafael Furcal, STL
3B Pablo Sandoval, SF
OF Melky Cabrera, SF
OF Carlos Beltran, STL
OF Matt Kemp, LAD
Pitchers
RHP Matt Cain, SF
LHP Aroldis Chapman, CIN
RHP R.A. Dickey, NYM
LHP Gio Gonzalez, WAS
LHP Cole Hamels, PHI
RHP Joel Hanrahan, PIT
LHP Clayton Kershaw, LAD
RHP Craig Kimbrel, ATL
RHP Lance Lynn, STL
LHP Wade Miley, ARI
RHP Jonathan Papelbon, PHI
RHP Stephen Strasburg, WAS
RHP Huston Street, SD
Reserves
C Yadier Molina, STL
C Carlos Ruiz, PHI
1B Bryan LaHair, CHC
2B Jose Altuve, HOU
SS Starlin Castro, CHC
SS Ian Desmond, WAS
3B David Wright, NYM
OF Ryan Braun, MIL
OF Jay Bruce, CIN
OF Carlos Gonzalez, COL
OF Andrew McCutchen, PIT
OF Giancarlo Stanton, MIA

"I'm so happy to go," the catcher said. "I still can't believe it. It's the first time. It definitely was an exciting day."

It would have been a shock had Ruiz not made the roster. He entered Sunday leading baseball in batting average (.358). He also ranked third in on-base percentage (.423), eighth in slugging percentage (.585) and fourth in OPS (1.008).

Ruiz said making the team is a big deal for his family back in Panama. He spoke to his mother in the morning.

"She was real happy, I can tell you that," he said. "She said congratulations like four times. She's excited."

Said Phillies manager Charlie Manuel: "I think that's great. Carlos is a great example of what baseball is and how he's improved in the last few years and the player he's become. That's kind of what you work for in this game, and what you strive for."

Hamels and Papelbon are heading back to the All-Star Game. Hamels is 10-4 with a 3.08 ERA. He is tied for fourth in the Majors in wins. It is his third All-Star appearance. He also made the team in 2007 and '11.

Papelbon is 2-2 with a 3.03 ERA and 18 saves in 19 opportunities. He is tied for eighth in the Majors in saves. It is Papelbon's fifth All-Star Game, and first with the Phillies. He made the American League All-Star team with the Boston Red Sox from 2006-09.

"It's a tremendous honor to be selected," Hamels said. "It's a hard game to play. It's hard to do well."

Hamels did not pitch in last year's Midsummer Classic, so he is hoping for the opportunity this year.

"I think that'll be kind of fun," he said.

But he also should be prepared for plenty of questions from reporters. The Phillies have been gauging interest on Hamels as a possible trade chip for some time. ESPN.com said Sunday the Phillies are looking for a huge haul for Hamels, a package of four to five prospects, including some A-plus prospects. The Phils could trade Hamels because they could be far out of contention before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, and Hamels will be a free agent after the season.

Hamels said it won't be a big deal answering the questions.

Why not?

"Because I don't have to answer questions," he said.

Papelbon said he is excited to represent the Phillies.

"Every time it's an honor to go out there and represent your team," the closer said. "None of them are taken lightly. And every time you have a chance to appear [in an All-Star Game], you want to do everything you can to make your team and city proud."

The 83rd Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. Pregame ceremonies begin at 7:30 p.m. (EDT)/6:30 p.m. (CDT). ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage. MLB Network, MLB.com and Sirius XM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Game coverage.

Fans will also have the opportunity to participate in the official voting for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player presented by Chevrolet via the 2012 MLB.com All-Star Game MVP Vote during the All-Star Game on MLB.com.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.