While Twins fans and players slogged through a three-hour rain delay Sunday, Major League Baseball announced the remainder of the 2019 All-Star Game rosters. When the reserves and pitchers’ names were released, just one Twin was on the list: starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi.
Odorizzi is a deserving selection, his 2.73 ERA (eighth among qualified MLB starters) and 3.23 FIP (12th) leading the Twins to 12 wins in his 16 starts, good for a 2.5 fWAR and 10-3 record, making him one of only five pitchers with 10 or more wins.
Congrats to Jake on an excellent first half of the season, and best of luck to he and starting shortstop Jorge Polanco during the festivities in Cleveland.
And now comes the filibuster:
How on earth do the Twins go into Cleveland with just two All-Stars... and just one position player?
The team ranking second in fWAR (18.2), and first in home runs (157) and slugging percentage (.496) and OPS (.831) and wOBA (.348) and wRC+ (116), gets one offensive All-Star?
The team leading the AL Central by eight games gets two All-Stars, while the teams in second (Cleveland, eight games back) and third (Chicago, thirteen behind) each get three apiece?
Perhaps it is better to give examples.
Byron Buxton (if he qualified right now): fourth among AL outfielders in isolated power (.257), sixth in slugging percentage (.519), first in defensive fWAR (10.2), third in total fWAR (2.5) — not an all-Star.
Jose Berrios: 10th in the majors in ERA (2.89) and fWAR (2.8) — not an All-Star.
...oh, my, Max Kepler...
...who among AL qualifying outfielders ranks:
- ...third in home runs (21).
- ...second in isolated power (.279).
- ...third in slugging percentage (.548).
- ...fourth in wOBA (.369).
- ...seventh in offensive fWAR (11.8).
- ...first in defensive fWAR (6.9).
- ...second in total fWAR (3.0).
...not an All-Star.
I rest my case.
Congratulations again to Odorizzi on his selection. Fewer congratulations to the MLB for theirs.