ST. LOUIS -- It's not how Matt Holliday would have liked to have been chosen as a National League All-Star, but Holliday will nonetheless be heading to Kansas City next week for the 2012 Midsummer Classic.
Holliday was named by NL All-Star manager Tony La Russa to replace Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina on the active roster. Molina was put on the Major League bereavement list on Friday and has been placed on the family medical emergency list after a death in his family.
"It's always an honor and a pleasure to be part of it," Holliday said. "Whatever the circumstances, obviously I feel for Yadi, but I'm privileged to be part of the game and part of the All-Star team."
Because the top three catchers on the Player Ballot were already invited to the All-Star Game, Molina's replacement was determined by La Russa in conjunction with MLB.
Holliday is an All-Star for the sixth time in his career, and has been one of the hottest hitters in baseball lately while leading the Cardinals with a .318 average. He's batting .500 (34-for-68) with four homers, 21 RBIs, 10 doubles and 17 runs scored since June 16. Over that span, he boasts the highest batting average, on-base percentage (.549) and slugging percentage (.824), and he leads the Majors in doubles.
"He deserved to be there. I think that's really the end of the story," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "He's an All-Star-caliber player in an All-Star-caliber year. I'm really happy for Matt, especially how he's made a strong push here."
Holliday's hot streak has come after he made a minor adjustment in his swing a few weeks earlier. Holliday hasn't disclosed much on what that adjustment was, and neither has Matheny.
"He's been hitting the ball hard all year, and I guess his adjustment was stop hitting it hard at people," Matheny joked.
Holliday said Friday that his success is simply a result of not complicating things when in the box and trying to put together a quality at-bat each time.
"I think when you keep it real simple and real day to day, you're much more likely to put a couple weeks, months, a season together," Holliday said.