Pacific League manager Hideki Kuriyama and his Central League counterpart Koichi Ogata completed their rosters on Monday ahead of this month’s All-Star series.
The final tally for roster spots leaves the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks, a perennial PL powerhouse, and the Hiroshima Carp, the CL-leaders and defending league champs, tied with seven players each. The games will be played on July 14 at Nagoya Dome and the following day at Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium.
Yomiuri Giants first baseman Shinnosuke Abe, added to the team through the players’ ballot, leads all players on both teams with 13 All-Star appearances. Including Kensuke Kondo — who has withdrawn after having back surgery — there are 23 first-time All Stars.
Kondo, who is batting .407 this season, has been replaced by a teammate, Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters outfielder Haruki Nishikawa. Three rookies have been selected to play for their leagues, all pitchers: Yokohama BayStars lefty Haruhiro Hamaguchi and a pair of Orix Buffaloes right-handers, starter Taisuke Yamaoka and reliever Yuta Kuroki.
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