Rays send Archer, Boxberger to All-Star Game

Rays send Archer, Boxberger to All-Star Game

KANSAS CITY -- Arch and Box are going to the All-Star Game presented by T-Mobile.

Rays starting pitcher Chris Archer will go as a players' selection, while reliever Brad Boxberger will go as a manager's pick.

Rays manager Kevin Cash called the two hurlers into his office Monday afternoon to give them the news.

Pitching coach Jim Hickey "told me to come in. He said we have something to talk about," Boxberger said. "I didn't know if it had to deal with the rain today. ... But it was a little better than that."

Boxberger said the reality of what was about to happen did not hit him until Archer walked into the room.

"And then I was like, 'OK, this could be a good meeting,'" Boxberger said. "But until that moment, I didn't know what to expect."

Cash called the pair "very much deserving."

"Both of them, what they've done from Day 1, it's kind of interesting we got the guy at the back end and we got the guy at the front end," Cash said. "And they're a big part of why we've had success.

"It was probably the best conversation I've had in this office. Generally, it's a send down conversation where you have [Hickey] and [bullpen coach Stan Boroski] involved, we're sending somebody out. So it was kind of nice to say some good things. And they were both pumped."

Archer, who is the pitcher Rays fans have watched grow from a raw, hard-throwing youngster into the team ace, was the Rays' obvious representative for this year's All-Star Game. Boxberger earning a spot added icing to the cake for the Rays.

Archer was acquired in a trade that sent Matt Garza to the Cubs prior to the 2011 season. His evolution into an All-Star makes the Rays look like the winner in that deal that saw them also acquire Brandon Guyer, Sam Fuld and Robinson Chirinos.

The right-hander has been lights out all season, picking up the slack for the starting rotation sans Alex Cobb, Drew Smyly and Matt Moore.

"It's not all just me," Archer said. "It's the timing with the organization. The coaches. The tremendous defense. And the three catchers I've thrown to this year. Yeah, it's hard work on my part, for sure. But I've had a great support system the whole way -- meaning family and this organization.

"So it's a lot of factors that have come together and clicked. I knew that one day it would be possible, and I think we all knew. That's why the Rays traded for me. They saw a lot of upside and potential. So to be creeping closer and closer to that is also very encouraging."

Boxberger came to the team in a trade with the Padres prior to the 2014 season. After initially going back and forth last season between Triple-A Durham and the Rays, he earned a spot pitching late in games. This season, he has evolved into the team's closer even though Cash has never named a closer. Boxberger is a quiet sort, but he lets a devastating changeup do his talking.

"It probably wasn't the easiest path to take, but it was the one I was on," Boxberger said. "Just to go in every day with the attitude of I'm going to do what I can today and whatever happens tomorrow happens. Especially the ups and downs last year and the prior year. It just built me into who I am now."

Voting is open now at MLB.com to select the final player for each League's 34-man roster via the 2015 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote. Fans can cast their votes from a list of five players from each League until 4 p.m. ET on Friday.

During the Midsummer Classic in Cincinnati on Tuesday, July 14, fans can once again visit MLB.com to submit their choice for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. Voting exclusively at MLB.com, online and via their mobile devices in the 2015 All-Star Game MVP Vote presented by Chevrolet, the fans' collective voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.

MLB.TV Premium subscribers will be able to live stream the All-Star Game via MLB.TV through FOX's participating video providers. Access will be available across more than 400 supported MLB.TV platforms, including the award-winning MLB.com At Bat app. MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities, including the 2015 Gillette Home Run Derby presented by Head & Shoulders, part of Gatorade All-Star Workout Day on Monday, July 13. The Derby will feature a new format with brackets and timed rounds and will be broadcast live by ESPN and MLB.com beginning at 8 p.m. ET.

The 86th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports (7 p.m. ET air time, 8:15 first pitch), in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 160 countries. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.