07/06/2003 11:44 AM ET
Sabathia gets Tribe's All-Star nod
Southpaw will be Cleveland's lone representative
Cast your ballot in the etopps All-Star Final Vote
By Justice B. Hill / MLB.com
AL All-Star roster
NL All-Star roster
CLEVELAND -- Baseball insiders had always said that C.C. Sabathia had the tools to be a shoo-in for regular duty in All-Star Games.
In his third big-league season, Sabathia has blossomed into one of the top pitchers in the American League. His work for the Indians this season helped make him a worthy of his selection to the 2003 American League All-Star team.
"I'm a little surprised," he said, as he dressed Sunday after the Tribe's 5-3 win over the Twins. "But I'm definitely happy."
So was Indians manager Eric Wedge, although Wedge didn't share Sabathia's surprise.
"He's had quality start after quality start," Wedge said. "He's worked hard to be more efficient early in the game with his pitches.
"He's been in a regular routine."
Sabathia's '03 statistics speak to Wedge's high praise.
For the season, Sabathia's record is 8-3 with a 3.21 ERA. But, as people have put it, that's only half his story. The rest of it is this: Sabathia has been dominant since April 27.
In his last 12 starts, the 22-year-old left-hander has an 8-1 record and a 2.96 ERA. He has emerged, as he often said he wanted to, as the ace of the Indians pitching staff.
"I feel like I'm definitely making strides to be the kind of pitcher I want to be," said Sabathia, who will be making his first All-Star Game appearance. "It is just one of the rewards. I'm happy to get it.
"But I'm still gonna keep pushing and working hard the second half."
Justice B. Hill is a senior writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball or its clubs.