SEATTLE -- Jarrod Saltalamacchia has taken his game to the next level this season. However, there are deserving players who are left off the All-Star team every year, and Saltalamacchia fell into that category on Sunday, when selections were announced on the MLB All-Star Selection Show presented by Taco Bell.
Boston's starting catcher leads American League backstops with 15 homers, 28 extra-base hits and a .537 slugging percentage. He's had three home runs from the seventh inning or later that have either tied the game or put the Red Sox ahead.
"It's tough. I definitely wanted to make it," said Saltalamacchia. "I felt like I deserved it. At the same time, I think A.J. [Pierzynski] deserved it as well. You look at that and you see that it's tough. It's not the end of the world. We've still got a lot of season left."
Mike Napoli, Joe Mauer and Matt Wieters are the three catchers who will represent the AL in Kansas City.
"Well, I hope he's not disappointed," manager Bobby Valentine said of Saltalamacchia. "I hope he's proud of the way he's played and I hope he's ready to build on it. He's played like an All-Star. That you don't get selected is just a numbers game. He's taken a step this first half and I hope he can continue to improve on that."
For every hug that David Ortiz -- Boston's lone All-Star -- got from a teammate on Sunday morning, there was also one for Saltalamacchia.
"You know, the biggest honor to me really is my teammates are walking around telling me, 'You should have made it.' That means more to me than anything, because those are the guys that see what I go through on a day to day basis and battle and go to war with me every day," Saltalamacchia said.