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USA TODAY Sports St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Pat Neshek throws to a New York Mets batter during the ninth inning at Busch Stadium in this June 17 file photo.

MLB: Former Twin Neshek a surprise All-Star

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ST. LOUIS — In the offseason, the New York Mets told Pat Neshek he didn’t throw hard enough to warrant an invitation to spring training.

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Think they might want to take a mulligan about now?

Neshek went from accepting St. Louis’ non-roster invitation to spring training to the first All-Star Game berth of his career Sunday when Cardinals manager Mike Matheny selected him to the National League roster.

It is the highlight of the 33-year old veteran’s career, and one Neshek richly deserves. All Neshek has done since scraping his way onto the Opening Day roster is go from mop-up man to eighth-inning specialist, pitching to an 0.77 ERA in 40 appearances and allowing just 22 baserunners (16 hits, four walks, two hit batters) in 35 innings.

Making it sweeter for Neshek is that the All-Star Game is being played in Minneapolis, where he played from 2006-10 and also grew up.

“I thought there was a chance, but it was kind of a surprise,” Neshek said after the Cardinals’ 8-4 loss to the Miami Marlins on Sunday. “Baseball doesn’t really make a spot for set-up guys. It’s kind of hard to bet on making it. It’s pretty awesome.”

All-Star Rosters

Game Tuesday, July 15 at Target Field, Minneapolis

(X-INACTIVE, R-REPLACEMENT, Y-STARTER)

American League

STARTERS

Catcher — x-Matt Wieters, Orioles, y-Salvador Perez, Royals

First Base — Miguel Cabrera, Tigers

Second Base — Robinson Cano, Mariners

Third Base — Josh Donaldson, Athletics

Shortstop — Derek Jeter, Yankees

Outfield — Jose Bautista, Blue Jays, Mike Trout, Angels, Adam Jones, Orioles

Designated Hitter — Nelson Cruz, Orioles

RESERVES

Pitchers

Dellin Betances, RHP, Yankees

Mark Buehrle, LHP, Blue Jays

Yu Darvish, RHP, Rangers

Sean Doolittle, LHP, Athletics

Felix Hernandez, RHP, Mariners

Greg Holland, RHP, Royals

Scott Kazmir, LHP, Athletics

Jon Lester, LHP, Red Sox

Glen Perkins, LHP, Twins

David Price, LHP, Rays

Max Scherzer, RHP, Tigers

Masahiro Tanaka, RHP, Yankees

Catchers

Derek Norris, Athletics

r-Kurt Suzuki, Twins

Infielders

Jose Abreu, White Sox

Jose Altuve, Astros

Adrian Beltre, Rangers

x-Edwin Encarnacion, Blue Jays, r-Kyle Seager, Mariners

Brandon Moss, Athletics

Alexei Ramirez, White Sox

Outfielders

Michael Brantley, Indians

Yoenis Cespedes, Athletics

Alex Gordon, Royals

Designated Hitters

Victor Martinez, Tigers

MLB.Com Final Vote Candidates

LHP Dallas Keuchel, Astros

RHP Corey Kluber, Indians

RHP Garrett Richards, Angels

RHP Rick Porcello, Tigers

LHP Chris Sale, White Sox

National League

STARTERS

Catcher — Yadier Molina, Cardinals

First Base — Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks

Second Base — Chase Utley, Phillies

Third Base — Aramis Ramirez, Brewers

Shortstop — Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies

Outfield — Andrew McCutchen, Pirates, Carlos Gomez, Brewers, Yasiel Puig, Dodgers

RESERVES

Pitchers

Madison Bumgarner, LHP, Giants

Aroldis Chapman, LHP, Reds

Johnny Cueto, RHP, Reds

Zack Greinke, RHP, Dodgers

Clayton Kershaw, LHP, Dodgers

Craig Kimbrel, RHP, Braves

Pat Neshek, RHP, Cardinals

Francisco Rodriguez, RHP, Brewers

Tyson Ross, RHP, Padres

x-Jeff Samardzija, RHP, Cubs/A’s, r-Julio Teheran, RHP, Braves

Adam Wainwright, RHP, Cardinals

Tony Watson, LHP, Pirates

Jordan Zimmermann, RHP, Nationals

Catchers

Jonathan Lucroy, Brewers

Devin Mesoraco, Reds

Infielders

Matt Carpenter, Cardinals

Starlin Castro, Cubs

Todd Frazier, Reds

Freddie Freeman, Braves

Dee Gordon, Dodgers

Daniel Murphy, Mets

Outfielders

Charlie Blackmon, Rockies

Josh Harrison, Pirates

Hunter Pence, Giants

Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins

MLB.Com Final Vote Candidates

3B Casey McGehee, Marlins

1B Justin Morneau, Rockies

3B Anthony Rendon, Nationals

1B Anthony Rizzo, Cubs

OF Justin Upton, Braves

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