The Los Angeles Dodgers had Mookie Betts and Trea Turner voted among National League starters for the 2022 MLB All-Star Game, which left manager Dave Roberts hoping five more players would join them for the showcase event at Dodger Stadium.
Roberts has touted Will Smith as being All-Star worthy since last season, and he believes the Dodgers are deserving of having seven players make the 92nd Midsummer Classic.
“I could get on my soapbox and have a case for each one of them and I think it would be valid,” Roberts began. “Maybe a little bias, but I really feel it’s an unbias kind of stating facts. I think seven guys deserve an opportunity to represent the Dodgers.
“Obviously the starters are named by the fans, the league has the last right of refusal on the subs and pitchers. So there’s a little bit. I’m going to do some lobbying for certain players, and I’ve obviously been on record as saying Will should be the third catcher or DH.
“I think he’s an All-Star, period. I think Julio (Urías, and obviously with Freddie (Freeman) and what he’s done. I’ve done my share of lobbying, I guess. I think all managers do.”
When Roberts was asked in June about potential Dodgers All-Stars, he specifically mentioned Betts, Freddie Freeman, Tony Gonsolin, Smith and Trea Turner. When reminded of the strong start Tyler Anderson has gotten off to, Roberts included him as well.
All-Star Game reserves and pitchers were announced Sunday afternoon, and the Dodgers only had Gonsolin and Clayton Kershaw named to the NL roster.
Roberts already has been named to Snitker’s NL coaching staff.
Will Clayton Kershaw start All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium?
Related to how many Dodgers will be 2022 All-Stars is a conversation over whether Kershaw should start. Doing so would represent his first career All-Star Game start and be a fitting selection to take place at Dodger Stadium.
Th decision lies with Atlanta Braves manager Brian Snitker, who may receive a nudge from Roberts.
“Obviously it’s been an abbreviated first half, but when he’s out there he’s performed like an All-Star, and I expect that to continue. When you’re talking about the All-Star Game for 2022, he certainly is deserving,” Roberts said.
“I’ve been reluctant to push as far as starting, but the game is for the fans. And it’s only fitting that Clayton would get that opportunity. I know that Brian is a fan of the game and understands the fanbases, so it wouldn’t surprise me if Clayton is named the starter.
“But again, that’s Brian’s ultimate decision.”
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