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Who deserves All-Star nod?

Jul 5, 2013, 5:20 PM EDT

We're now about 24 hours from the announcement of this year's All-Star Game rosters, with the online voting window officially closed. So it's too late to make a last-minute push for anybody, lest they end up in the "Final Man" vote next week.

Last year, it was pretty obvious which members of the Nationals deserved to go to Kansas City, and Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Ian Desmond and Bryce Harper all were selected (with Desmond forced to miss the festivities due to an oblique strain that later landed him on the DL).

This year? Well, it's not quite as clear-cut. There's one, maybe two, slam-dunk choices, then several more than could go either way. Let's run through them all…

JORDAN ZIMMERMANN
The case for: Tops in the NL with 12 wins, sixth with a 2.46 ERA, third with a 0.945 WHIP, fifth with 120 2/3 innings pitched. He'sRead more ยป

  1. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 5, 2013 at 5:37 PM

    I picked JZim, Desi and Bryce on the same day the media their predictions. I'm thinking Stras makes it once a pitcher drops out.

  2. d'grviii 8 - Jul 5, 2013 at 5:42 PM

    If Harper isn't one of the top three in fan voting, you can count on him being on the last man ballot. Possibly up against Yasiel Puig. The whole last man ballot is nothing but a massive MLB troll for email addresses to spam. Harper and/or Puig on that ballot will guarantee the maximum possible number of votes.

  3. d'grviii 8 - Jul 5, 2013 at 5:50 PM

    And no, Strasburg is not having a phenomenal season. Stastically maybe he is, but stats fail to tell the whole story. Inability to go deep into games (no matter the reason), failure to pick up after errors behind him (the unearned runs he's given up counter the lack of run support), time on the DL. All those contribute to his season being less than phenomenal so far.

  4. David Proctor - Jul 5, 2013 at 5:53 PM

    Stras is going deep enough into games (he's averaging 7 innings a game), he's been picking up his teammates after errors with regularity lately. Time on the DL, I guess, but meh. Strasburg is absolutely having a phenomenal season. Started kind of rough but he's been lights out.

  5. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 5, 2013 at 6:00 PM

    d'grvii 8, you and rest of fans are clearly watching two different starters because SS has been doing all the things you are saying he does not do.

  6. Eugene in Oregon - Jul 5, 2013 at 6:00 PM

    Not only should Ian Desmond make it on the merits, but it's hard to imagine Everth Cabrera being a manager's selection at SS given his reported links to the Biogenesis scandal. Particularly after last year's Melky Cabrera embarassment (i.e., him being named MVP and then suspended for PED use a few week's later), I don't see Bruce Bochy selecting anyone who's potentially dirty.

  7. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 5, 2013 at 6:05 PM

    With Davey on staff, Desi has a good shot. I don't think Bryce should make it. yes, he is pretty good but he does not have the numbers.

  8. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 5, 2013 at 6:13 PM

    David Proctor said… Stras is going deep enough into games (he's averaging 7 innings a game), he's been picking up his teammates after errors with regularity lately. Time on the DL, I guess, but meh. Strasburg is absolutely having a phenomenal season. Started kind of rough but he's been lights out. Agreed, he's been lights out since his return from the DL. 3rd overall in ERA, 9th overall in WHIP, 20th in K/BB, and last in run support.

  9. Section 222 - Jul 5, 2013 at 6:20 PM

    Desi and JZnn absolutely deserve to go. I won't be surprised if Harper squeaks in, but I'm also fine with him missing out, if only because a few more days of rest will probably benefit him, and us.Stras is in a tough position. Last year, there were 13 NL pitchers, only 8 were starters. You have to think the following will definitely get picked:JZnnHarveyWainwrightKershawCorbinLeeLocke seems like a lock (hee hee) because you can't snub a deserving pitcher from the team with the best record in the league, right? And Wood is probably the best candidate for the Cubs' sole rep. Even Jose Fernandez is probably in the conversation, again because a Marlin has to go and Stanton hasn't made much of a case for himself. So Stras is competing with those three, plus Leake, Latos, Miller, and Maholm for two or maybe three spots. And don't forget Bumgarner, who has pitched well and whose manager will have a big say. Those aren't very good odds for Stras, particularly since Miller is the only other one of the nine on the bubble who has a teammate in the top 6. It's true that Gio and Stras were both picked last year, but we had the best record in the league at the break last year. If Bochy picks five relievers, I suppose Soriano has a shot. Personally, I think a closer should be picked only if he is having a truly phenomenal season. I suppose Grilli fits that bill this year, but seriously, for one inning, would you rather have Stras or Grilli pitching? Remember JZnn in Game 6? But that's just me.

  10. NatsLady - Jul 5, 2013 at 6:24 PM

    Evereth Cabrera has also been injured.. Unfortunately, he is expected back tonight…

  11. Section 222 - Jul 5, 2013 at 6:25 PM

    Stasburg missed what? Two starts? The league leaders have 18 starts, JZnn, has 17, and Stras has 16. Not a big deal. I doubt the players and managers voting know anything about this "not picking up his teammates" thing, even if it's true. But I just don't see them picking him when JZnn is a shoo-in and there are so many other worthy candidates. He might deserve to get in on the numbers, but he probably won't.

  12. NatsLady - Jul 5, 2013 at 6:27 PM

    Desmond isn't well-known, let's face it. He didn't go last year (for very good reason). Tulo is phenomenal, I mean, we saw him in our series, and Cabrera has that incredible speed. Desi just gets the hits and makes the plays.

  13. Section 222 - Jul 5, 2013 at 6:31 PM

    Of all the things about Desi's game that are great right now, his improved defense is in some ways the most impressive, and reassuring. At this point, I still hold my breath when the ball is hit to Zim, and I just assume Desi will make the play when it's hit to him. He's solid with the glove, has great range, and a rocket arm. It's also great that he's been so durable this year. He's out there every day (all but one so far I think) and we never really even consider that he might need a rest. And the way he's hitting, I guess he doesn't.

  14. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 5, 2013 at 6:31 PM

    Sect222, breaking it down by starters/relievers you are right, I don't see Stras making it in as I wrote above but there will be a starter or 2 that won't pitch based on starting on Sunday or pulling out for some other reason which is where I could see Strasburg as next in.If you peel away that W/L, he's #3 in NL ERA and that's impressive as his W/L is a function of poor run support.

  15. Section 222 - Jul 5, 2013 at 6:45 PM

    Ghost, he definitely has a shot based on injury pullouts or rotation schedule. I don't think any of the pitchers most prominently mentioned are currently hurt, but something's bound to happen. The thing is, there are a bunch of guys on the bubble, and since it's Bochy making the replacement invitations, I can easily see him going for someone else. Stras probably has the best chance based on the players/managers votes because they know how good he is. But again, the top six seem like shoo-ins to me.I wonder if Puig will beat Harper in the last roster spot fan vote.

  16. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 5, 2013 at 6:49 PM

    Stras also is 2nd in Tough Losses with 3 which would make him 7-3 for those who can't get past W/L records.

  17. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 5, 2013 at 6:58 PM

    Section222, I agree with you on Harp vs Puig. If Harp isn't voted in, good chance he won't make it.JZim is the only sure thing in this All Star game.Bochy won't put Puig in by choice or probably any Dodger except Kershaw. Puig certainly will be voted in if he is put on the last vote which MLB will do.Case against Desi is Bochy could choose Brandon Crawford who is his guy and Everth Cabrera could be the only Padre and lastly Tulo could decide to play and he certainly has the best stats even with park differential and Segura seems in as the starter if Tulo doesn't play. That's a lot of shortstops.

  18. Section 222 - Jul 5, 2013 at 7:10 PM

    Do you really think there's a chance Tulo would play? That seems crazy. The one good thing about the "meaningful" ASG is that the managers aren't as tempted to reward "their guy." I think you pick Desi, and you play him, if you want to win this game.

  19. NatsLady - Jul 5, 2013 at 7:12 PM

    Mark Bowman โ€@mlbbowman 1mThe Braves have pushed Hudson back one day. Maholm will start tonight and Hudson will start tomorrow.

  20. phil dunton - Jul 5, 2013 at 7:17 PM

    Agree on J Zimm and Desmond but not on Harper.

  21. Joe Seamhead - Jul 5, 2013 at 7:17 PM

    The All-Star Game has never had much appeal to me, and with the ballot stuffing/ internet voting it has even less. JZimm and Desmond would get my vote if I had bothered to vote.————-///—————–I looked back on the blog and read what people had to say the days right after we signed Dan Haren. There's a lot more "I told you so" being claimed today then I saw back then.The responses were overwhelmingly positive.Incidentally, Bill James projected him : 15-9/ 186K's/ 41BB's/ 3.47 ERA/ I'm sure these sabermatics often have lots of merit, but boy was he wrong on that one.Tom Boswell, who has been justifiably critical lately, at the time called the Haren signing an "A+ move." [The James prognosis and the Boz statement were compliments of MicheleS' posts the day the Haren signing was announced].

  22. Section 222 - Jul 5, 2013 at 7:22 PM

    That's interesting NL. So the Braves are keeping Maholm on 4 days rest and giving 6 to Hudson. Each of them will still start twice more before the ASG and will have a nice long rest before the second half starts (unless Maholm goes).

  23. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 5, 2013 at 7:23 PM

    The Braves are having similar debates on Freddie Freeman who to me is their only standout with Kimbrel. For a 1st place team they had JUp and Gattis and Minor looking like sure things but no longer. Let's hope JUp isn't voted in.

  24. NatsLady - Jul 5, 2013 at 7:28 PM

    Seamhead, I was one of those who gave the nod to the Haren move, based mostly on "RIzzo knows what he's doing" on the injury history, and the idea that there are "no bad one-year deals." Well, obviously, there can be bad one year deals, but Haren didn't block anyone and unless you were going for Lohse, there wasn't much on the market–and as has been demonstrated, no one in the farm system is ready (Jordan might be but is innings-limited, and certainly was no lock coming off the TJ). It's not that I was enthusiastic about Haren, just mostly neutral.

  25. karlkolchak - Jul 5, 2013 at 7:29 PM

    I'd choose J-Znn, Desi and Stras, Harper just doesn't have the overall great stats to overcome his lack of playing time.

  26. NatsLady - Jul 5, 2013 at 7:29 PM

    Same on Soriano–gave Rizzo the benefit of the doubt on that one. Now, I was more familiar with Span, and more enthusiastic about him.

  27. NatsLady - Jul 5, 2013 at 7:32 PM

    This is a nice stat. At least for tonight…John R. Finger โ€@jrfingerCSN 19mCliff Lee in his last five outings against the Braves: 38 IP, 26 H, 3 ER, 36 K, 1 BB, 0.71 ERA

  28. A DC Wonk - Jul 5, 2013 at 7:34 PM

    The James prognosis and the Boz statement were compliments of MicheleS' posts the day the Haren signing was announced.And I think that goes to show that Rizzo made a pretty good (if you measure "pretty good" by probability of success) move here. Given what else was available, desirability of wanting only a one year deal, etc.And, it seems to me, that those who blast him for the move are just engaging in Monday Morning quarterbacking.If Rizzo wanted to play it 100% and wouldn't sign anyone coming off an injury limited year, we'd have to kick a bunch of guys off of our roster.Starting with Rendon.

  29. NatsLady - Jul 5, 2013 at 7:35 PM

    As expected.MLB Injury News โ€@MLBInjuryNews 13s#Padres activated Everth Cabrera from 15-day DL and optioned RHP Burch Smith to Triple-A Tucson. #MLB

  30. JaneB - Jul 5, 2013 at 7:37 PM

    I will be so, so upset if Desi doesn't get to go. That is all.

  31. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 5, 2013 at 7:42 PM

    I voted for Desi and hope that JZimm and SS go…. I don't want Bryce to go… Finish resting and getting things together for when we will need him to get his timing/fielding right after the AS break…Re Haren – I was one of the people that hated the signing, first becuz I didn't want EJax to go but also his injury history… I wanted Lohse and would have had no issues with using a draft pick… Ready for the game tonight…. Still trying to be domestic and get it together so by game time, I will have nothing left to do but sit back and enjoy the game…

  32. natsfan1a - Jul 5, 2013 at 7:47 PM

    That was pretty cool but I think this guy had her beat.NatsLady said… This is pretty cool. You can tell I'm bored until game time….

  33. NatsLady - Jul 5, 2013 at 7:48 PM

    MrsB–doing the same. Also had to call my rep, because even though I submitted my request on June 21, they had not changed my ticket for July 7. Had to listen to the rep tell me how convenient the online system is, and then tell me they had "lost" my request, even though I had the "auto" email to show I'd made it. Had to repeat my request a couple of times (glad I wrote it down), which day I was exchanging for which, etc. She said they are still having trouble as with any new system. Why is it always MY request, though?

  34. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 5, 2013 at 7:53 PM

    My dad and his friend have a half a season for STH but I never sit in those seats…Why? Becuz I am scared a ball will find me… So I prefer the 300s and 400s… I think I will be at the game tomorrow since I go to 1 game every home series… Where is the NIDO spreadsheet so I can see who will be there, etc?

  35. NCNatsie - Jul 5, 2013 at 7:54 PM

    Great link, 1a. See you guys all beat up on me because I don't like the balk rule, but see how much more fun baseball could be it we gave pitches just a teensie bit more leeway.

  36. NCNatsie - Jul 5, 2013 at 7:55 PM

    pitchers

  37. d'grviii 8 - Jul 5, 2013 at 7:55 PM

    "Faraz Shaikh said… d'grvii 8, you and rest of fans are clearly watching two different starters because SS has been doing all the things you are saying he does not do."Maybe recently he has, but certainly not for the entire season he wasn't. If you look at their entire bodies of work over the first half season, you can make a strong argument that Strasburg has only been the Nats' third best starter, behind Zimmermann and Gio. If you call Strasburg's season phenomenal, what words do you have left to describe the other two guys who have been better?

  38. natsfan1a - Jul 5, 2013 at 7:58 PM

    Thanks, Natsie, and I'm with you on the balk rule. NCNatsie said… Great link, 1a. See you guys all beat up on me because I don't like the balk rule, but see how much more fun baseball could be it we gave pitches just a teensie bit more leeway. July 05, 2013 3:54 PM

  39. d'grviii 8 - Jul 5, 2013 at 7:59 PM

    "there will be a starter or 2 that won't pitch based on starting on Sunday or pulling out for some other reason which is where I could see Strasburg as next in."Strasburg is pitching Sunday too, so this argument doesn't wash.

  40. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 5, 2013 at 8:02 PM

    Peter Gammons saying Huddy thinks he could be traded. Might be reason Braves pushed him back.

  41. Section 222 - Jul 5, 2013 at 8:03 PM

    1a and NL, thanks for the very entertaining first pitches. Eat your heart out John Wall!Here's the NIDO Spreadsheet for MrsB.

  42. David Proctor - Jul 5, 2013 at 8:03 PM

    "Tim Hudson has let some former teammates know he thinks he could get dealt. Watch Texas, Boston, San Fransisco…"Woah, that's unexpected. Who replaces him? Beachy?

  43. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 5, 2013 at 8:06 PM

    David, I like my beers cold.

  44. Section 222 - Jul 5, 2013 at 8:08 PM

    Strasburg is pitching Sunday too, so this argument doesn't wash.Um, he meant next Sunday, right before the ASG. Stras is lined up to pitch this Sunday, and then Friday, July 12. He'll be well rested for the ASG if Bochy wants him.But thanks for playing.

  45. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 5, 2013 at 8:10 PM

    Thanks 222….Uhm, why would the Braves trade Hudson….

  46. David Proctor - Jul 5, 2013 at 8:14 PM

    Hudson is in the last year of his contract, Brandon Beachy is returning. If they think they could get a lot for him, I understand it. They have a suitable replacement.

  47. MrsB loves the Nats - Jul 5, 2013 at 8:20 PM

    Ohhhhh… I forgot about Beachy….

  48. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 5, 2013 at 8:25 PM

    With 9 remaining games against the Braves, the Nats couldn't beat Huddy but the rest of the NL were hitting him hard.Not surprising at all.

  49. Ghost Of Steve M. - Jul 5, 2013 at 8:27 PM

    Good GMs think outside the box. Wren may not be my favorite GM but he's certainly thinking. I'm sure he doesn't give a hoot about Huddy's hurt feelings.

  50. Faraz Shaikh - Jul 5, 2013 at 8:33 PM

    d'grviii 8, you are willing to count SS' all starts but not Gio. Let's not forget Gio's horrible April.

  51. d'grviii 8 - Jul 5, 2013 at 8:57 PM

    "Faraz Shaikh said… d'grviii 8, you are willing to count SS' all starts but not Gio. Let's not forget Gio's horrible April."I said looking at each of their entire bodies of work so far this season. Strasburg had a horrible April too.

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