CLEVELAND -- Vinnie Pestano has been one of the best setup pitchers in baseball this season. He had a 1.97 ERA in 34 appearances entering Monday, and he allowed only one earned run in 9 1/3 innings in June.
"He's pitched like an All-Star," manager Manny Acta said.
Still, Pestano's name wasn't included when the All-Star rosters were released Sunday. His teammate, closer Chris Perez, was one of four American League relievers selected, along with Texas' Joe Nathan, Baltimore's Jim Johnson and Tampa Bay's Fernando Rodney. All four players are closers.
Pestano spoke highly of the pitchers that were chosen, but he felt he deserved to be on the roster.
"My whole life, I've been kind of looked over, kind of brushed to the side," Pestano said. "[Setup men] don't get a whole lot of love. Until setup guys get seen as a vital part of the team, then that's just the way it's gonna be. It's just the way baseball is. What are you gonna do?"
Perez already sees setup guys as a vital part of the team. He knows that without Pestano he wouldn't have made the All-Star roster. If Pestano didn't do his job in the eighth inning, Perez would never get a chance to do his in the ninth.
"All the stars have to align for the setup guys to make it," said Perez, who entered Monday tied for the AL lead with 23 saves. "Whereas closers, we make it because we get saves or whatever. At the same time, I worked to get to this spot, to be the closer. It wasn't just given to me. I was a setup guy for a couple years.
"I think he knows how much I appreciate him being in front of me. I think we're a really good one-two combo."