On Tuesday, Major League Baseball will announce the All-Star rosters for this year’s game. A handful of Washington Nationals figure to be locks for selection, while a few others are in the running as well. Here is a quick look at those who will likely represent the Nationals in San Diego on July 12.
Bryce Harper, starting outfield
The only National to get significant support in the sacred fan voting process — brought to you by Esurance — Harper looks to be a lock for his fourth All-Star selection. Though he is not on his MVP pace of a year ago, Harper’s .258/.402/.488 triple-slash line and 135 OPS+ entering Saturday reflects his status as one of the better hitters in the league. This should be Harper’s third starting selection to the game.
Daniel Murphy, second base reserve
As of the most recent results, Murphy is closing the gap on the Cubs’ Ben Zobrist, who has led for most of the voting. While Murphy’s numbers suggest that he should start, the rate at which the Cubs are generating votes probably gives Zobrist the edge. Even if Murphy misses out on the starting spot, he will be a lock for selection as he leads the league in hits, average, and total bases.
Wilson Ramos, backup catcher
With fan voting coming down to Yadier Molina and Buster Posey, Ramos is likely to be overlooked for a starting role, despite the fact that he is outperforming both players at the plate. In the middle of what is by far the best season of his career, Ramos lacks the name recognition of Molina and Posey — which hurts his cause in the fan voting — but it would be a surprise to see him completely omitted from the roster. Should he make the game, it will be Ramos’ first All-Star selection.
Just missing the cut
Stephen Strasburg’s selection seemed like a certainty until his recent injury. Though the right-handler has returned, the timing of the injury might prevent him from being named, and it’s fair to wonder if the Nationals would want to pitch in the game shortly after coming off of the DL.
If the selection of relievers weren’t traditionally skewed towards closers, Shawn Kelley would be a virtual lock. Kelley’s excellent numbers—including his 13.4 K/9 and 1.7 BB/9 rates—warrant a close look, but he may be upstaged by more established options.Tags: Bryce Harper, Daniel Murphy, Nationals, Nats, Shawn Kelley, Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals, Wilson Ramos