4 Former Dirtbag All-Stars Make the Major League Rosters for 2012

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Jason Vargas

Jason Vargas was the first of 10 former Dirtbags on MLB rosters to begin the 2012 season.

Long Beach State will have 10 players on opening day rosters as the MLB rolls out the start of the 2012 season. Seattle Mariners pitcher Jason Vargas has already began the season, and nine more are expected to follow in the coming days.

Vargas started the second official game of the 2012 season, throwing 6.1 innings for Seattle as the Mariners faced Oakland in Japan in a two-game series.

Long Beach State has four former All-Stars starting the season, with two playing for the Colorado Rockies. Shortstop Troy Tulowitzki garnered his second NL Silver Slugger and Gold Glove awards last season, as well as being named to his second All-Star team, hitting .302 with 30 home runs and making just six errors in 143 games. He is joined on the Rockies by Jason Giambi, who at 41 extends his own record with the longest career, entering his 18th season of service. The 2001 AL MVP is a five-time All-Star and hit .260 with 13 home runs last season for the Rockies.

Jered Weaver returns as the opening day starter for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, one season after finishing as the runner-up for the AL Cy Young award to Justin Verlander. Weaver made his second All-Star appearance, finishing with an 18-8 overall record and 198 strikeouts. Another former All-Star returning is Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria, who recovered from an early season injury to propel the Rays to the postseason in a thrilling pennant chase. The 2008 AL Rookie of the Year has made three All-Star games, and had 31 home runs and 99 RBI in just 133 games last season.

Three Dirtbags from the 2008 team return to their clubs after outstanding rookie seasons. Vance Worley finished third in the NL Rookie of the Year voting, posting an 11-3 record with 3.01 ERA and 119 strikeouts for the Philadelphia Phillies. Second Baseman Danny Espinosa finished sixth in the ROY voting, playing 158 games and hitting 21 home runs. Bryan Shaw made 33 appearances out of the bullpen for the Arizona Diamondbacks, compiling a 2.54 ERA with 24 strikeouts.

Marco Estrada returns to the Milwaukee Brewers rotation in his fourth season in the majors, and the Dirtbags will also have one rookie in 2012, as Jared Hughes has made the Pirates roster after a September callup.

Long Beach State has led the major leagues in each of the last two seasons with 16 players in each of the last two seasons. Left-handed pitcher Adam Wilk, who made his MLB debut in 2011, and Cesar Ramos are former major-leaguers on 40-man rosters, and the two are joined by Nick Vincent who is on the San Diego 40-man roster entering the season. Drew Carpenter and Brad Davis were non-roster invitees to Toronto and San Diego respectively, and are continuing their journey back to the bigs.

Minor league assignments will be made in the following weeks, where the Dirtbags have over 20 more players playing.

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