If Kevin Youkilis wins the fan vote for the final roster spot on the AL All-Star team, the Red Sox will send seven players to Anaheim next Tuesday. Not included, however, is Jonathan Papelbon.
The Red Sox closer has been to four straight All-Star Games but will miss out on the festivities for the first time since his rookie season in 2005.
Perhaps missing the All-Star Game will be beneficial for Papelbon, who is 3-4 with a 3.71 ERA and 19 saves this year.
"It?s fun being there," Papelbon told The Boston Globe. "But this isn?t going to hurt my confidence for the second half of the season, and I can probably use the rest."
Papelbon is having a down year compared to his usual standards. The right-hander has just 30 strikeouts over 34 innings in 2010.
And while Papelbon sits back and relaxes during the break, he?ll undoubtedly be cheering on his Red Sox teammates as they represent the American League, especially fellow pitchers and first-time All-Stars Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester.
"Every player comes into their All-Star form at a different time," Papelbon said. "I?ve kind of been waiting for this to happen for them. They deserve it.?"