Shortly after the initial rosters for the 2011 MLB All-Star Game were announced, I lamented Michael Pineda's exclusion from the game. Pineda has put together a strong rookie campaign with the Seattle Mariners, presenting himself as an early Rookie of the Year candidate while pitching like an ace in what's been a surprising season for the team. And while the Mariners did have two pitchers selected to the All-Star Game -- Felix Hernandez and Brandon League -- Pineda's name was left off the early rosters.
That may change, however. All-Star rosters are always fluid right up until just before the game, and plenty of players elect to skip the game for one reason or another. In the likely event a pitcher or two pulls out of the game, odds are Pineda will be called in as a replacement.
According to 710 ESPN's Shannon Drayer, Pineda has been told to be ready, an encouraging sign for his chances.
Final selections most likely not until Sun but hearing Michael Pineda has been told to be ready to be a possible replacement in the AS game
For Pineda, making the All-Star Game as a rookie would have to be a thrilling opportunity -- one that he truly does deserve. And at this point, it wouldn't be surprising to see him added as a late replacement in the next few days. Nothing is set in stone, but it looks promising for the young phenom.
For more on the rosters, check out the rest of our 2011 MLB All-Star Game StoryStream.