Teheran relishes return to All-Star scene

Braves' representative back for second time in three years

Teheran relishes return to All-Star scene

SAN DIEGO -- After getting his first All-Star taste in 2014, Julio Teheran couldn't wait to get back. But he had to wait, patiently enduring a disappointing 2015 season without a trip to the Midsummer Classic.

But thanks in part to a minor change he made last summer, Teheran will reassume his place among some of the game's best players tonight, his second All-Star Game, presented by MasterCard (7:30 p.m. ET on FOX).

"I'm just happy to be back. Last year, I couldn't," Teheran said Monday afternoon during All-Star Game media day. "I'm happy and proud to be representing the Braves one more time."

Teheran's 3-8 record doesn't accurately reflect his otherwise strong performance. In 18 starts, the right-hander owns a 2.96 ERA and 0.97 WHIP.

He's walking a career-low 1.9 per nine innings and striking out 8.1 per nine, a tick off the career-best rate he posted as a rookie in 2013 -- and even those numbers are dragged down by a pair of rough starts to end the first half.

"I think my confidence has been the biggest part this season and experience, obviously," Teheran said. "That adjustment that I made last year, I think that has been the big thing for being consistent."

The adjustment in question was a move to the left side of the rubber, something Teheran implemented last season to address his command issues and struggles against left-handed hitters.

"I tried everything last year," Teheran said. "Whenever you struggle, you try everything to come back to form."

Teheran, the Braves' lone representative in San Diego, seems to have found that form. And it may create a different kind of stress for the 25-year-old.

Even during the break, Teheran has been the subject of trade rumors as the most productive player on the rebuilding Braves roster. Two years ago, before his first All-Star season, he signed a six-year, $32.4 million extension with a club option for 2020.

"It's difficult whenever you hear your name in the trade rumors. It's real difficult, especially if you've been with one team," Teheran said. "I signed with the Braves, and I want to stay with them my whole career. That's something I can't control. I know how this game is. One day you're with one team; you don't know where the next day. Don't try to think about it."

For now, Teheran can instead think about savoring another All-Star experience.

"Just trying to enjoy this game," he said. "These kind of events are the most fun part of the season."

An added benefit for Teheran: the late addition of White Sox left-hander Jose Quintana to the American League roster. Two years ago, Teheran became the first Colombian-born pitcher to be named an All-Star. In San Diego, he's been given a rare chance to meet up with his friend, offseason workout partner and fellow countryman.

"We got two this year," Teheran said, smiling. "We're enjoying this event right now."

Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.