Tonight the All Star rosters were announced.
The Houston Astros boast five all stars. Such representation should be expected of the reigning World Series champion, currently in first place and with the second-best record in the sport.
The Astros selected are:
- 2B Jose Altuve (sixth All Star appearance, top vote getter in MLB)
- 3B Alex Bregman (first)
- RF George Springer (second)
- SP Justin Verlander (seventh)
- SP Gerrit Cole (second)
- Can we collectively be amazed that this will be Altuve’s sixth All Star game at only age 28, but Verlander’s seventh, at age 35? Verlander will possibly be a first-ballot Hall of Famer, and Altuve is only one shy of his All-Star appearance count, but is seven years his junior.
- Verlander won’t pitch in the game this season, because he will be pitching for the Astros the Sunday immediate prior, which would have put him on short rest. That’s probably good for all concerned.
- I’m not entirely sure how Springer wound up on the All Star team, though I am not complaining. His .249/.332/.427 (113 wRC+) line do not warrant inclusion on merit. If I’m a fan of Andrew Benintendi, Giancarlo Stanton, or Aaron Hicks, I’m pretty ticked off.
- Former Astros are well-represented. Players who suited up for Houston or their farm teams selected as an All Star with their current team include J.D. Martinez, Mike Foltynewicz, Josh Hader, and J.A. Happ.
- HOW IS COLLIN McHUGH NOT ON THE ALL STAR TEAM? 0.88 ERA, 11.9 strikeouts per nine innings. He has absolutely been one of the top three or four most dominant relief pitchers in all of baseball this season. More proof that America’s pointless fixation on that arbitrarily-created and meaningless “save” stat is in full force. Ugh.
- Worth mentioning: Charlie Morton has a strong case of his own for a big snub in the rotation. 2.83 ERA, 11.8 strikeouts per nine innings. But this year’s crop of excellent starters in the American League is very deep, and every team is required to be represented. Morton and a couple other worthy candidates were bumped off by Jose Berrios of the Twins and his 3.54 ERA. Boo! Know who else has been better than Berrios? Astros’ #4 starter, Lance McCullers. #5 starter Dallas Keuchel is only 0.1 WAR point behind the Twins’ selection.