Bruce, Cozart downplay being left off ASG roster

Bruce, Cozart downplay being left off ASG roster

CHICAGO -- With the kind of season the Reds have endured, it would have been a tall order to expect for the club to have multiple All-Stars. Left fielder Adam Duvall earned his selection on Tuesday via the players' ballot. But strong first halves by right fielder Jay Bruce and shortstop Zack Cozart went unrewarded for next Tuesday's All-Star Game presented by MasterCard (7:30 p.m. ET on FOX).

Unless Bruce or Cozart are selected as alternates if someone can't play, the Reds will have just one All-Star for the first time since 2009, when Francisco Cordero was their lone representative. Reds manager Bryan Price recently spoke to Mets skipper Terry Collins, who is managing the NL squad, about his players.

• Interactive All-Star rosters

"I think every manager is going, 'I wish I had a second player, a third player or a fifth player,' or whatever," Price said on Wednesday. "[Collins] fully understands the types of seasons those guys are having and how hard it is to accommodate everybody that's having a good season."

Coming off two subpar seasons, Bruce entered Wednesday batting .268/.315/.546 with 18 home runs, 19 doubles, six triples, 62 RBIs and a 124 OPS-plus. He's a two-time All-Star (2011-12).

"Obviously, everybody wants to be an All-Star," Bruce said. "When you think you have a chance and an opportunity to be an All-Star, you obviously want it a little more because it's in your sights. I'm not the first guy to be left out and won't be the last. I don't want it to feel like or seem like I'm taking away from Adam's accomplishment. This guy deserves it as much as anybody does. I definitely wanted to make the team, but that's how it goes. You can always play a little better."

• Breakout 2016 earns Duvall All-Star nod

After he recovered from June 2015 reconstructive right knee surgery, Cozart has been strong both offensively and defensively for most of this season. At the plate, he entered the day batting .269/.321/.486 with 13 homers and 37 RBIs. He's never been to the Midsummer Classic.

Cozart's two-run home run

"It could be worse," Cozart said. "We could not be talking about me possibly making the All-Star team. I feel like I've been underrated my whole career. I'm not really surprised by not getting any love in the All-Star [selections]. I'm just happy to be out there. My knee feels great. I'm healthy. I get to play every day. That's the thing that I look at the most, I'm out there competing and playing hard."

Cozart was ranked fifth among NL shortstops in each week's balloting updates until the final one, when he was passed by Asdrubal Cabrera of the Mets. Neither Bruce, nor Duvall, ranked in the top 15 vote-getters among NL outfielders.

Cincinnati, a small-market club, is in the midst of a rebuilding year and is in last place in the NL Central standings.

"It's tough when you start bringing the team into it," Cozart said. "You know the better teams are going to get more people in. That's just the way it's been. I thought Brucie was deserving and Duvall was, for sure. I'm really glad that Duvall was recognized. It's cool to get recognized for what he's done by the players."

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.