MLB

MLB All-Star Game snubs: Max Scherzer, Chris Bassitt among deserving players left off rosters

The rosters for the 2021 MLB All-Star Game have been set, which means it’s time to dial it up to 11 on the outrage machine. The snubs. By God, the snubs! It’s absolutely ridiculous. It’s a travesty. I’m very angry right now! 

OK, OK, let’s calm down. First off, there will be some injury replacements. Secondly, some pitchers will remove themselves from consideration to pitch in the game and those spots will be filled by additional All-Stars. The rosters are official and technically complete, but they’ll be amended in the coming days. 

Still, we’ve gotta run through the initial snubs. We’ll go by position by league, but I’m not sure we’re going to have a strong one everywhere. A player needs to earn an All-Star appearance and sometimes he just isn’t deserving of even being mentioned as a snub. 

Catcher

AL: There isn’t really much to concern ourselves with here. Perhaps some A’s fans would want Sean Murphy? Sending a sub-.200 hitter in Yasmani Grandal would’ve been funny and Gary Sánchez maybe has a case. Maybe. 

NL: Will Smith, Dodgers version, Willson Contreras and Omar Narváez definitely have an argument. Narváez in particular is having an excellent offensive season while dealing with the Brewers‘ outstanding pitching staff. Maybe he’ll be an injury replacement. 

First base

AL: There are only so many spots and they can’t take every offensive stud the Astros have, but Yuli Gurriel is hitting .322/.390/.495 and didn’t get a spot. 

NL: You could possibly make plausible cases for Brandon Belt, Rhys Hoskins et al, but no one was really done dirty here. 

Second base

AL: Brandon Lowe has the power numbers, but that low average is always going to dissuade the masses. Too bad about the Nick Madrigal injury, as he could’ve had an impact. 

NL: Kolten Wong and Jean Segura certainly have cases, despite both missing some time with injury. Reds rookie Jonathan India made a late charge, too. 

Shortstop 

AL: Tim Anderson and J.P. Crawford  would be next in line, but it’s tough to get worked up about either. 

NL: What Willy Adames has done with the Brewers deserves mention, but it’s still only been 41 games. Javier Báez has the power numbers along with defense and baserunning, but his average and OBP are just too low. With it being in Colorado, Trevor Story wouldn’t have been a bad pick, either. 

Third base

AL: Yoán Moncada has everything but the power and should be on the short list of injury replacements. Alex Bregman hasn’t been as good as his reputation, but he’s been good enough to get a mention here. 

NL: It might be hard to believe, but Justin Turner’s only been an All-Star one time. He’s one of the best players not on the team right now. Fellow NL West hot corner man Manny Machado could’ve also gotten a look. And, man, too bad about that Evan Longoria injury. He was well on his way. Austin Riley is also knocking on the door. 

Outfield

AL: Given that he’s only played in 27 games, it totally makes sense that he wasn’t included and he shouldn’t be, but it’s a real shame about the injuries when it comes to Byron Buxton. Even in just 27 games, he’s third in WAR among AL outfielders after Cedric Mullins and Joey Gallo (both All-Stars). A’s outfielder Mark Canha lurks on the periphery. 

NL: The limited nature of his first half due to injuries has kept Starling Marte out, but he’s having a hell of a season. Tyler O’Neill and Trent Grisham also have very good cases and we could trickle it down to Tommy Pham and Bryce Harper

Designated hitter

AL: Yordan Alvarez is hitting .300/.370/.531 and is absent to this point. Giancarlo Stanton is always going to turn heads, but it was a crowded position. We can mention Mitch Haniger and Austin Meadows, too. 

Starting pitcher

AL: The A’s get no respect! They only have one All-Star (Matt Olson). Chris Bassitt has been one of the best pitchers in the AL while Sean Manaea is also in the conversation. Hell, even Cole Irvin ranks 15th in the AL among qualified starters in ERA. I know he’s hurt, but Tyler Glasnow probably deserved to be named and replaced. You could make a similar statement on Aaron Civale. Robbie Ray and José Berríos have also been great. I’m sure I’m missing some, but this has been the year of the pitcher, at least until the sticky stuff was eliminated. Speaking of a crowded field …

NL: Taijuan Walker is 7-3 with a 2.44 ERA. Freddy Peralta has a 2.17 ERA and 122 strikeouts in 87 innings. Max Scherzer, who isn’t exactly some unknown who came from outta nowhere, has a 2.10 ERA in 16 starts! Walker Buehler is 8-1 with a 2.35 ERA. Joe Musgrove has the no-hitter and a 2.63 ERA. None of these guys made it. Nor did Anthony DeSclafani, Clayton Kershaw, Ian Anderson, Julio Urías or a host of others having very good years. 

Relief pitcher

AL: This goes for both the AL and NL, but there are so many relievers who are stellar and it’s such small samples, we aren’t going to hit every one of your favorite players. We just aren’t. Some possible snubs: Scott Barlow, Taylor Rogers, Emmanuel Clase, Adam Ottavino and James Karinchak

NL: See the above note in the AL section first. Anyway, some names: Edwin Díaz, Kenley Jansen, Tejay Antone, Tyler Rogers and Richard Rodríguez. 



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