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July 14, 2014 at 3:15 PM

What the American League All-Stars are saying about Felix Hernandez

AP photo

AP photo

Felix Hernandez didn’t say a whole lot about being named the American League starting pitcher. And since he was at the early press conference, he wasn’t subjected to the one hour free for all of individual interviews that followed. So with Hernandez not saying much.I figured I’d ask a few people about him getting the starting, including his teammates, his favorite competitor, the man who will catch him and a couple members of the Oakland A’s.

Robinson Cano

“I know it means a lot to him. It would mean a lot to anyone. As a player, you want to start this game, you don’t want to sit on the bench and watch somebody else.”

Kyle Seager

“I think it’s really good for him to be recognized for what he’s done. We all know how special he is, but for him to the recognition on the national stage, it’s well deserved.”

Salvador Perez of the Royals, who will catch Hernandez

“I’m 100 percent excited. I’m excited to be the first two Venezuelan guys, pitcher and catcher, to start an all-star game. I know it’s big for him.”

“I don’t if I will be able to catch that cambio (changeup). It’s so nasty.”

Adrian Beltre  

“He’s getting better every year. Sometimes you expect a guy to slow down a little bit. But he learns every year how to be more consistent. He’s getting nastier by the day. He’s so competitive. He has so much heart. He pitches with guts. Every time he’s out there, his team believes it can win. And that’s not something every pitcher can do.”

“It’s his first time. I think it’s kind of weird that it’s his first time knowing the kind of pitcher he is. I know he’s proud. I know he’s so competitive and he wants to be the best. He just added to his resume being the all-star starter.”

Brandon Moss of the A’s

“We get to face him every series, so I guess we should know. Obviously, his numbers speak to themselves. What else can I say other than the guy tends to beat us every time he pitches against us.”

“Look, he’s a once in a generation type of pitcher. Nobody has the pitches he has. He has the good fastball, he has the good breaking ball, but there is no one in baseball that throws a Felix Hernandez change-up.  No one.”

“Not very many people are able to do what he is able to do as far as … he get so many people to swing at pitches that are not strikes. But the reason that you swing is because they look like they will be strikes.”

“My game plan tends to work sometimes. And the days when it doesn’t work, it fails epically. In all truth, you just have to be aggressive with him. He’s not going to walk you because there’s no one he’s going to give in to. The only approach is to be aggressive with him and hope that pitch you’re seeing is where it really is and if it’s a mistake, you hit it. If not, maybe he’ll throw one to the next guy.”

Derek Norris of the A’s

“I don’t want to ever see him again. There’s something about it that when he pitches against us that he just turns it up a notch and he becomes kind of unhittable. After the first three or four hitters of our game the other night, he was virtually unhittable. He’s very deserving. It seems like he gets better every single year. Usually it’s the opposite. He came up and he was throwing upper 90s and now he’s throwing every thing for strikes. I feel like I step in the box and I’m already 0-2 against him. It seems unfair at times.”

And since I want to be equal opportunity, here’s what Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers said about Felix.

“Felix might have the best stuff in the game as a starter,” Kershaw said. “His changeup, or whatever he calls that thing, is the most amazing pitch.”

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