Teams having horrible seasons typically don't have many All-Star-caliber performers. And that's the case for the KC Royals who, winners of only 23 games this season and with a last-place finish all but locked in with 81 games left to play, won't boast a starter for this year's All-Star Game.
In fact, Kansas City probably won't have more than one participant in the 93rd playing of the major leagues' midsummer classic, which has grown from its original game-only event into a multi-day baseball extravaganza.
The Royals didn't land a starter in just-completed fan voting that, save for batting orders and pitchers, finalized each club's starting lineup, but are, like all other big league clubs, guaranteed one representative for the game. Expect the process that determines the balances of the American and National League rosters—voting by managers and coaches coupled with input from the Commissioner's Office—to give catcher Salvador Perez his eighth AL All-Star berth.
That's because Perez, with 15 home runs and 39 RBIs in 79 games, is the only Royal who merits selection. Statistical analysis isn't necessary to prove that none of his teammates have distinguished themselves at an All-Star level, which means he'll likely be the team's lone All-Star when reserves are announced Sunday at 4:30 p.m. CT on ESPN.
Having only one Royal in the game doesn't mean, though, that KC fans should ignore the contest or its special events. Here are the key details.
When and where will this season's edition of MLB's All-Star Game be played?
Seattle's T-Mobile Park, home of the Mariners, is the venue for the 2023 ASG, with the first pitch scheduled for 6 p.m. CT Tuesday, July 11. Fox Sports has the telecast and ESPN Radio gets the broadcast.
What related events can KC Royals fans follow before Tuesday's big game?
The HBCU Swingman Classic, a new event and game boasting 50 players from Historically Black Colleges & Universities and the heavy involvement of Hall of Famer and former Mariner Ken Griffey Jr., is one of the highlights of Friday, July 7. The game, which MLB Network will televise and MLB.com will stream, begins at 9:30 p.m. CT.
Being played Saturday is the annual Futures Game, which will feature top prospects from around professional baseball. Pitcher Will Klein, a reliever for Triple-A Omaha, is the only Kansas City prospect selected for the contest. KC fans can catch the 6 p.m. CT game on Peacock or SiriusXM.
Saturday also features the MLB Celebrity Softball Game, a fan-favorite event headlined by both celebrities and former big league players.
The 2023 Amateur Draft begins Sunday, July 9, when the first two of 20 rounds, including a Prospect Promotion Incentive Pick and Compensatory and Competitive Balance picks, will occur. The Royals have the eighth overall selection and the fifth in Round 2. The event continues Monday with Rounds 3-10 and concludes Tuesday with the final 10 rounds.
ESPN and MLB.com will cover Round 1 and Rounds 2-20 will be available on the latter and the MLB app.
And then there's Monday's Home Run Derby, another fan favorite that Perez performed so well in two years ago. This season's participants will include Mookie Betts, who helped the Dodgers spoil Kansas City rookie Alec Marsh's Friday night big league debut by tagging him for a pair of home runs. The Derby begins at 7 p.m. CT; ESPN, ESPN.com, MLB.TV and MLB.com will have coverage.
When will the KC Royals return from this year's All-Star Break?
Kansas City will be back in action Friday, July 14, when they open a three-game weekend home series with Tampa Bay, with whom they split a four-gamer last week.