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Bulger named to AAA All-Star game

When Jason Bulger is eventually called back up to the Los Angeles Angels, he won't be the only one happy about the move.

Every opposing hitter in the Pacific Coast League will be elated to see the right-handed relief pitcher get back to the majors.

The Brookwood grad has dominated Class AAA hitters, going 2-0 with nine saves and a 0.70 ERA. In 251/3 innings, he has struck out 44.

Bulger hasn't been recalled despite his impressive work, but he was named on Thursday to the Pacific Coast League team for the AAA All-Star Game in Louisville on July 16. The contest will be televised by ESPN2 at 7 p.m.

Bulger certainly deserved the all-star selection. He didn't allow a run in 12 appearances during June, posting eight saves in as many opportunities.

The former Valdosta State standout made the Angels out of spring training, but became the odd-man-out in the loaded Los Angeles bullpen when a couple of pitchers got healthy.

Bulger's only blown save for Salt Lake came in late April, shortly after he was sent down. He hasn't been charged with a run since May 8 - a span of 16 appearances.

The 29-year-old has given up just 13 hits, with opponents batting only .148.

"When he throws strikes and relaxes, he's outstanding," Salt Lake manager Bobby Mitchell said. "He's got a great slider."

Bulger throws hard, but the slider has become his strikeout pitch.

"I try to be as aggressive as possible," he said.

Bulger was taken by Arizona in the first round of the 2001 draft, but pitched just briefly with the Diamondbacks after needing elbow reconstruction surgery.

This is his second selection to the AAA All-Star Game. He was also chosen in 2005 while pitching for Tucson of the PCL.

Bulger was traded by Arizona to the Angels during spring training in 2006 and pitched well last September for Los Angeles. He faltered at the start of this season, however, posting a 7.94 ERA in his five appearances.

"All I need is another opportunity," Bulger said.

With the way he's pitching in AAA, he should definitely get it.