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Snake Bytes, 7/7: Never Mind The Pollocks, He's an All-Star!

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A.J. Pollock gets to join Paul Goldschmidt at the All-Star Game, making his first appearance.

Dustin Bradford/Getty Images
Hey, now - you're an All-Star!

[] Pollock to join Goldy at ASG as OF reserve - The first thing he did was call his father to tell him. "He was really excited," Pollock said. "Just as excited as I was. Talking about when he would throw me BP when I was younger, and it was just kind of pretty neat that a kid from a small town in Connecticut would be going to an All-Star Game." Pollock was going to call his mom next, but he realized she was out riding her bike, and knowing that earlier this year she had fallen off the bike while reading a text, he thought he should hold off until she was done.

[AZ Central] Pollock makes All-Star team - Over the past couple of weeks, Diamondbacks center fielder A.J. Pollock crossed paths with a couple of rival players who told him they voted for him to make the National League All-Star team. That alone was pretty neat, Pollock thought. "These are guys you play against every day and you're trying to beat them, and that they have that high of respect for you is pretty cool," Pollock said. "I think getting voted in by the players is a cool thing to say."

[FOX Sports] A.J. Pollock selected for first All-Star appearance - "I'm more pumped going with him [Paul Goldschmidt] because he's a good buddy of mine," Pollock said on a conference call from Texas, where the D-backs start a two-game series against the Rangers on Tuesday. "Him and his wife (Amy), we've been together for a long time coming up through the system. I went to the Double-A All-Star Game with him. It's pretty cool. I've already asked him a bunch of questions about what to expect."

Team News

[FOX Sports] Ahmed hitting .313 last 23 games as D-backs head to Texas - "It's not something where I'm going out trying to hit home runs, it's something where I'm trying to hit the ball hard, like always, and stay through the middle of the field," Ahmed told FOX Sports Arizona's Jody Jackson. Ahmed's early season struggles -- he hit .140 in April and was as low as .130 on May 11 -- seem like the outlier after his recent uprising "It's just good to get on base in front of guys like A.J. (Pollock) and Goldy (Paul Goldschmidt)," the slick-fielding Ahmed said.

[Arizona Sports] Diamondbacks continue to defy expectations at halfway point - Of course, an MVP caliber season from Goldschmidt has helped considerably. The D-backs slugger is having a tremendous season and is on pace to compete for the triple crown. One area the D-backs will look to improve upon for the second half of the season is pitching. This is the part of the season that has gone according to projections for the D-backs. A wild bullpen and a rotation with only three consistent starters has contributed to the pitching struggle. Starters Jeremy Hellickson and Rubby De La Rosa have had some good stretches of play, but overall the two have had a rough season.

[AZ Central] Diamondbacks find rosier outlook with catchers - "Welington has done an outstanding job since we've gotten him," General Manager Dave Stewart said. "We knew he was going to hit because he does possess the ability to be a good offensive catcher. Through the information that we got from the difference sources we had out there, we also understood he did a very good job of handling the staff. And that is one of the areas he's tried to improve on and get better at."

[] D-backs execs to make goodwill visit to Japan - "The relationships that we have built in Japan since our last trip in 2012 have been very beneficial, and we believe it is important to continue to cultivate those friendships and grow our brand globally," said Hall. "Not only will we get the opportunity to see several players firsthand, but visiting alongside two Hall of Famers [Johnson and La Russa] and our franchise's most popular player ever will create an impact in that country for generations to come."

[] 2015 MLB trade deadline: Picking NL's buyers and sellers - At 37–41, the Diamondbacks are better than expected, but that's not to suggest that they're good or have any real hope of doing more than plodding their way to a mid-table finish that would do their rebuilding effort more harm (via a lower draft pick) than good. One look at their rotation, where Chase Anderson and Robbie Ray are the only pitchers preventing runs at a better-than-average clip, should disabuse anyone of the notion that they're going anywhere.

And elsewhere...

[ESPN] Biggest All-Star snubs - The NL players completely blew one position: LeMahieu is not a better player than Joe Panik or Kolten Wong. He did win the Gold Glove last year, but his powerless .298 average in Coors Field isn't that impressive. In terms of FanGraphs WAR, LeMahieu (1.2) trails not only Panik (2.9) and Wong (2.2) but Danny Espinosa, Neil Walker, Jace Peterson, Howie Kendrick and Addison Russell.

[AP] All-Star likes what he sees of pioneering girl at MLB camp - [Steve] Finley, who won the World Series with the Diamondbacks in 2001, insisted Mayeux was there on merit. "I don't really try to rank them," he said. "I think back when I was in high school, where would I have been ranked? Probably not very high... She's a baseball player and she's a good baseball player." Mike McClellan, MLB's International Game Development director, told the AP: "She's got great baseball action. She can really play the position. She knows what she's doing. She knows to be always in the right position. ... She makes her plays defensively. She's a good base runner."

[] Bullpen-heavy teams changing the game - Like a monster from a B-movie, the modern bullpen is becoming bigger and better. Matchup managing, increased velocity, limited exposure, a burgeoning supply of pitchers and, yes, a bigger strike zone have made for a successful formula to depress offense and protect leads. The team that scores first wins 71.6% of games this year. In the past 109 seasons, there has been only one season in which the conversion rate of turning the first run into a win was even 70%: 1968 (71.8%), which was essentially the worst year ever for hitting. [From a few days ago, but I just saw it! Don't think it was here before...]

And, finally... Woo-hoo! After going 0-for-66 to start his career the Cubs Jon Lester legged out an infield single yesterday. Now on the clock: the Rockies' Chad Bettis, a relatively short 0-for-30 in his career.