The 2018 MLB All-Star Game is slated to take place at Nationals Park in Washington, DC on Tuesday, July 17.
Known as the “Midsummer Classic”, the game features baseball’s most talented (and popular) players who take the field in the hopes of earning some serious bragging rights.
This is the second-straight year that the result of All-Star Game doesn’t hold any significant value. As the current collective bargaining agreement between MLB and MLBPA states, the winner of the game will not earn home field advantage in the World Series as it did in the past.
However, the event is taken very seriously by the players. In order to make the game exciting for the viewers, a fan vote helps determine the All-Star rosters for both leagues. Player votes and the Commissioner’s office are also factored in.
On Sunday, the rosters for the game were announced. While it’s important to note that injuries and other factors will most definitely allow current snubs to earn entry into the star-studded exhibition, here’s what the current rosters are.
The American League starters are as follows: Wilson Ramos (catcher, Tampa Bay Rays), Jose Abreu (first baseman, Chicago White Sox), Jose Altuve (second baseman, Houston Astros), Manny Machado (shortstop, Baltimore Orioles), Jose Ramirez (third baseman, Cleveland Indians), Mookie Betts (outfielder, Boston Red Sox), Mike Trout (outfielder, Los Angeles Angels), Aaron Judge (outfielder, New York Yankees) and J.D. Martinez (designated hitter, Boston Red Sox).
All nine of those players have been All-Stars before.
The National League starters will be: Willson Contreras (catcher, Chicago Cubs), Freddie Freeman (first baseman, Atlanta Braves), Javier Baez (second baseman, Chicago Cubs), Brandon Crawford (shortstop, San Francisco Giants), Nolan Arenado (third baseman, Colorado Rockies), Nick Markakis (outfielder, Atlanta Braves), Bryce Harper (outfielder, Washington Nationals) and Matt Kemp (outfielder, Los Angeles Dodgers).
Contreras, Baez and Markakis will be making their All-Star debuts. The 34-year-old Markakis played in 1,928 career MLB games before earning his first All-Star bid, which is a record.
Some notable American League reserves include: rookie Gleyber Torres (second baseman, New York Yankees), Francisco Lindor (shortstop, Cleveland Indians), George Springer (outfielder, Houston Astros), Corey Kluber (starting pitcher, Cleveland Indians), Luis Severino (starting pitcher, New York Yankees) and Justin Verlander (starting pitcher, Houston Astros).
Some notable National League reserves include: Buster Posey (catcher, San Francisco Giants), Paul Goldschmidt (first baseman, Arizona Diamondbacks), Joey Votto (first baseman, Cincinnati Reds), Max Scherzer (starting pitcher, Washington Nationals) and Jacob DeGrom (starting pitcher, New York Mets).
The surprising inclusion in the American League was undoubtedly reliever Joe Jimenez of the Detroit Tigers. In 44 appearances, the 23-year-old righty has thrown 41.0 innings and sports a 4-1 record with a 2.85 ERA. He has struck out 46 batters and has allowed 35 hits in those innings. It’s important to note that he’s not Detroit’s closer, either, and is instead a setup man.
Also a setup man, Dellin Betances (1-2, 2.56 ERA) of the New York Yankees was snubbed. In 37 appearances, the flamethrower has logged 38.2 innings and has struck out an astounding 68 batters while giving up just 22 hits. He has 13 holds on the year, just like Jimenez.
It was also a bit odd to see starting pitchers Jose Berrios (8-7, 3.54 ERA with the Minnesota Twins) and J.A. Happ (10-4, 4.03 ERA with the Toronto Blue Jays) earn spots in the AL, but it’s likely due to the fact that every MLB team needs at least one representative in the game. Seattle Mariners starter James Paxton (8-3, 3.59 ERA), Blake Snell (12-4, 2.09 ERA) and Charlie Morton (11-2, 2.83 ERA) all seemingly deserve the honor over those two.
There weren’t any major snubs in the National League except for Jesus Aguilar, who is hitting .306 with 22 home runs and 63 RBIs over 79 games for the Milwaukee Brewers this season.
Nonetheless, a lot of adjustments will be made from now until the day of the big game, so there’s a chance that some of the snubbed players listed above find themselves in the nation’s capital.