Four members of the Buffalo Bisons have been named to the International League squad for the Triple-A All-Star Game July 13 in Charlotte, the league announced today. It's the most representation by the Herd since six players were selected in 2005.
Designated hitter Jesus Montero and closer Dustin Antolin were both elected as starters while starting pitcher Drew Hutchison and submarine reliever Ben Rowen were named as reserves. The 2016 Bisons are the first team in the club's modern era with three pitchers named to the game, which began here in 1988.
The Bisons and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre are the only IL teams with four players named. One of Scranton's selections was top Yankees prospect Aaron Judge. Former Bisons reliever Edward Mujica, now with Lehigh Valley, joined Antolin as an elected starter in votes of the league's managers, general managers and media.
Montero is all over the IL leader board for batters this season. He ranks third in average at .313, leads the team in home runs (9) and runs (32) and is second in the league in both hits (90) and RBIs (47). He leads the team with 28 multi-hit games, including six straight. He's 13 for 25 in the last six games, part of the Herd's eight-game winning streak.
Antolin is 2-2, 2.41 with eight saves in 27 games of his first Triple-A rookie season and also had his first big-league callup to Toronto in May. He has pitched scoreless ball in 22 of his 27 games with Buffalo and leads Bisons relievers with 40 strikeouts.
Hutchinson is 6-3, 2.78 in 15 starts as he prepares for what the Blue Jays have already said publicly is a return to the Toronto rotation later this season. He is second in the league with 97 strikeouts and they have come in only 87 1/3 innings, and is seventh in ERA. Hutchison, who has allowed three earned runs or less in 10 of his starts, is 6-1, 2.85 in his last seven outings.
Rowen (0-2, 1.85) leads all Buffalo pitchers in appearances with 28 -- and has made 17 straight scoreless outings since May 8. During that stretch, he has allowed just 10 hits while striking out 19 in 22 2/3 innings. He has also allowed just two of 18 inherited runners to score this season.
In 2005, the Bisons were represented in the game at Sacramento by Buffalo Baseball Hall of Famer Ernie Young, Ryan Garko, Jeff Liefer and Jake Gautreau. Brandon Phillips and Fernando Cabrera were also selected but did not play because they had been called up to the Cleveland Indians.