Nen probably not in All-Star plans
LOS ANGELES -- Giants closer Robb Nen has a National League-leading
25 saves but may not make the cut when New York Mets manager Bobby
Valentine announces his pitching staff and reserves today for Tuesday's All-
Star Game, a Mets source said.
Valentine is leaning toward selecting 10 pitchers for his NL team. Five slots
almost certainly will be filled by Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson of
Arizona, Colorado's Mike Hampton, New York's Rick Reed and
Atlanta's John Burkett.
The second-tier group includes Florida's Antonio Alfonseca or Brad
Penny, Houston's Wade Miller, Los Angeles' Jeff Shaw, St. Louis' Matt
Morris, Pittsburgh's Mike Williams, Philadelphia's Jose Mesa and Nen.
"I definitely want to go," said Nen, a two-time All-Star who had four blown
saves and a 3.49 ERA entering Tuesday night's game. "It's a great
experience every time I go. There's nothing I can do about it, though.
There's times when I haven't pitched like one (an All-Star) this year. I've
struggled at times."
Valentine told Mets reporters that if there was a Giants pitcher he was going
to select it would be set-up man Felix Rodriguez, who has a 1.58 ERA in
39 appearances. Valentine did not mention Rodriguez's name when he
spoke to manager Dusty Baker about the Giants' All-Star candidates and
won't be picked, according to the source.
"He deserves it more than anybody," Nen said. "He's had the best year of
any set-up guy and he's been overlooked."
Working against the Giants having a pitcher selected is the fact that they will
have three starters in the game -- Barry Bonds, Jeff Kent and Rich
Giants assistant general manager Ned Colletti and Gregg Clifton, the
agent for Benito Santiago, plan to talk after the All-Star break about a
possible long-term contract extension for the catcher.
The Giants are pleased with Santiago's work this season. He was hitting
.290 with three homers and 26 RBI before Tuesday's game, and has
handled the staff well.
"I'd like to play on the East Coast and be closer to my family, but I'm feeling
great playing here," said Santiago, who wants a two- or three-year deal. "I
like the people here. It's perfect for me."
Santiago was signed to a one-year, $500,000 contract during spring training,
which has proved to be an astute deal for the team.
Never mind a print report about the Giants being a possible future home for
third baseman Ken Caminiti, who was released by Texas on Monday after
hitting .232 with nine homers and 25 RBI. Caminiti's agent, Adam Katz,
called the Giants, but Colletti informed him they have no interest in Caminiti.
... If first baseman J.T. Snow continues to progress from a bilateral groin
strain, he could begin a rehabilitation assignment at Triple-A Fresno this
weekend. If Snow needs no additional minor-league games after the All-Star
break, he could be activated when the second half begins, trainer Stan
Conte said. ... Atlanta assistant GM Frank Wren turned down an offer to
become Pittsburgh's GM Tuesday. According to a source close to the
Pirates, Colletti remains a candidate for the position. ... Right fielder
Armando Rios returned to the lineup Tuesday night after missing two
games when he tore adhesions in his surgically repaired left elbow making a
throw during Saturday's game. Rios homered in the third inning.
-- Joe Roderick, CONTRA COSTA TIMES STAFF WRITER