DETROIT - Michael Fulmer said he was at chapel this morning when he was summoned to Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus' office.
General manager Al Avila, pitching coach Rich Dubee and Ausmus shared with Fulmer that he’d be the lone representative for the Tigers at the All-Star Game in Miami on July 11.
“It’s a blessing, it truly is,” Fulmer told reporters today at Comerica Park. “Didn’t think much into it until Brad told me earlier today. Just to have the respect and votes from my peers and coaches, analysts and whoever else voted, it’s an honor to be able to represent the Tigers.”
More: 'A lost opportunity': Verlander, Tigers lose, 11-8, fall further behind Indians
Fulmer said Avila walked into the office where he was waiting with Dubee and Ausmus.
“Al just reaches out to me and says ‘Congrats,’ ” Fulmer said. “Brad said, ‘Well, I haven’t told him anything yet.’
“Al said, ‘Well, I guess you know now.’ ”
More: Nationals, Yankees, Astros Indians score five All-Star selections apiece
Fulmer, 24, said he was “in shock” by the news.
“Just don’t think about stuff like that,” said Fulmer, a right-handed pitcher who was voted the 2016 American League rookie of the year. “Think about winning games. Think about my next start, which I still have two more before the break. Gotta think about those first. I just never saw myself in this situation.”
Fulmer is scheduled to start Tuesday at Comerica Park when the Tigers begin a three-game series against the San Francisco Giants and Sunday in Cleveland against the AL Central-leading Indians, the day before the All-Star break begins.
“I don’t know what to expect,” Fulmer said of going to his first All-Star Game. “Obviously, I’ve seen it on TV, watched it every year. Just to be able to be part of the festivities … is going to be something I never forget.”
How much he’s able to pitch — if at all — will have to be determined after the start against the Indians.
“We’ll get to that point when we get there,” Fulmer said. “There’s kind of multiple options. I can go down there and enjoy myself and not do anything. Of course, the competitive side of me wants to at least get an out.
“Hopefully, if all goes well we get a win on Sunday and then Tuesday would be my normal bullpen day. So, hopefully, I can use that game experience as part of my bullpen.”
Fulmer is 7-6 with a 3.19 ERA a 1.13 WHIP in 15 starts this season. He has 78 strikeouts in 101⅔ innings.
“He’s been, by far, our most consistent pitcher,” Ausmus said of Fulmer. “Last year, I thought I thought he kind of deserved to go, but he wasn’t a well-known name. This year, everyone in baseball is aware of who he is after rookie of the year and his rookie season.
“And he’s picked up right where he left off. He’s more than deserving. I was very happy for him. It’s one of the nice things of the job, to be able to tell someone they’re going to the All-Star Game, especially if it’s their first one.”
Ausmus said outfielder Justin Upton (.267, 15 home runs, 52 RBI) and catcher Alex Avila (.311, 11 home runs, 28 RBI) were also deserving.
“Every manager thinks there’s other guys deserving on the team,” Ausmus said. “Not everyone can make it.”
© Gannett Co., Inc. 2017. All Rights Reserved