Reserves and pitchers for the 2019 MLB All-Star Game rosters were announced, and in addition to Cody Bellinger, who was voted in as a starter, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Clayton Kershaw and Walker Buehler will also be representing the Los Angeles Dodgers at the 90th Midsummer Classic.
The Dodgers are owners of the best record in baseball at 57-29, and while four All-Stars is notable, it nonetheless is surprising the Dodgers didn’t have more of a presence. Particularly in terms of position players.
Max Muncy, Joc Pederson, Justin Turner and Alex Verdugo are all having strong seasons, yet none of them wound up getting voted in by the players or Commissioner’s Office.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, who will be leading the National League team for the second consecutive season, was happy for his players who made the team, but felt that Muncy, Pederson, Turner and Verdugo all deserve to be there as well, as seen on SportsNet LA:
“I’m very excited for the three pitchers. I think it’s very well deserved. These guys had great halves, they’re out top three pitchers, it’s great for baseball. It’s going to be fun to get them into a game. As far as Cody, to have some teammates to go along with him, that’s good. He’s earned it. … As far as other guys that didn’t make it, there’s always guys that get snubbed. I think Joc was in the final running, I think highly of J.T. and his production, Alex really finished strong in the first half. But for me, Max Muncy is someone if something does change, I think he deserves that opportunity. It’s a good thing. I think we’re very well represented.”
While he did not make the initial rosters, it looks like Muncy still has a chance to make the roster as an injury replacement if one of the NL All-Stars gets hurt before next week’s game at Progressive Field in Cleveland.
For the Dodgers players that did make it, it will be Bellinger’s second All-Star selection but first start. Meanwhile, Kershaw received an eighth career nod, while it’s a first for both Ryu and Buehler. Ryu is expected to start the game on the mound for the NL.
Muncy is perhaps the biggest snub in baseball, and it is the second consecutive All-Star caliber season for him in which he did not make the team. Muncy is hitting .279/.380/.544 with 20 home runs and 58 RBI, ranking in the top 10 in WAR in the league.
Pederson has been mostly limited to facing right-handed pitchers this year, but still is among the league leaders with 20 home runs while hitting .243/.335/.539.
Turner and Verdugo may not have the counting stats that other players do, but they are both still hitting above .300 as Turner is slashing .301/.386/.452 and Verdugo is at .311/.360/.506 in his first full big league season.