Considering Chris Sale is the presumptive runner for the American League Cy Young Award at the half, a spot on the All-Star team was a given.
Now that Major League Baseball has unveiled the rosters for the Midsummer Classic, we’ll soon get an answer to the real question about Sale’s status: Will he start?
AL manager Ned Yost hasn’t made up his mind, but Sale will be available since he’s scheduled for Friday, and Robin Ventura has given that idea his blessing.
"I don’t see that as an issue of him being able to pitch in the All-Star Game," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "I would like to see him do whatever he wants to do. He’s earned the right to do it. Whether they ask him to do it and he does it is another thing. It’s always an honor to play in the All-Star Game and to be the guy who is asked to start it is special. It doesn’t come around very often for a lot of guys and to do it is a feather in your cap."
With his fifth All-Star berth, the Condor has received this honor in every year he’s been a member of the White Sox rotation, tying Billy Pierce for the most consecutive appearances by a pitcher in franchise history.
For the second straight year, Sale is the team’s lone representative, at least for now. Unlike last season, he has teammates deserving of recognition, including:
- Jose Quintana, who is top 10 among AL pitchers in WAR (fifth), innings (fourth), and ERA (eighth).
- Adam Eaton, who is eighth in the AL in WAR on the strength of his defense and well-rounded OBP-oriented game, although he does also lead the league in triples.
- David Robertson, who is tied for the AL lead with 23 saves, and has a 3.28 ERA that’s inflated by one awful outing.
For various reasons -- low national profiles, strength primarily in non-traditional stats, the every-team-gets-a-rep rule among them -- these three didn’t get the nod. They do stand a chance of making the trip anyway, once injuries and pitcher schedules whittle down the initial choices.
Todd Frazier, who won the Home Run Derby last year while representing the Reds, could get the opportunity to defend his title:
Defending champ Todd Frazier was asked about the HR Derby and said he can't comment. Make of that what you will. #WhiteSox— Dan Hayes (@CSNHayes) July 5, 2016
Based off his answer and demeanor for the Derby answer, Todd Frazier's All-Star break plans have changed.— Dan Hayes (@CSNHayes) July 5, 2016
The complete rosters:
|American League||National League|
|C||Salvador Perez||Buster Posey|
|1B||Eric Hosmer||Anthony Rizzo|
|2B||Jose Altuve||Ben Zobrist|
|3B||Manny Machado||Kris Bryant|
|SS||Xander Bogaerts||Addison Russell|
|OF||Mike Trout||Bryce Harper|
|OF||Jackie Bradley Jr.||Yoenis Cespedes|
|OF||Mookie Betts||Dexter Fowler|
|Bench||Steven Vogt||Jonathan Lucroy|
|Matt Wieters||Wilson Ramos
|Miguel Cabrera||Nolan Arenado|
|Robinson Cano||Matt Carpenter|
|Josh Donaldson||Paul Goldschmidt|
|Francisco Lindor||Daniel Murphy|
|Eduardo Nunez||Wil Myers|
|Carlos Beltran||Corey Seager|
|Ian Desmond||Adam Duvall|
|Mark Trumbo||Carlos Gonzalez|
|Edwin Encarnacion||Obdul Herrera|
|Pitchers||Chris Sale||Jake Arrieta|
|Marco Estrada||Madison Bumgarner|
|Danny Salazar||Johnny Cueto|
|Steven Wright||Jose Fernandez|
|Cole Hamels||Jon Lester|
|Dellin Betances||Clayton Kershaw (DL)|
|Brad Brach||Steven Strasburg|
|Zach Britton||Noah Syndergaard|
|Alex Colome||Julio Teheran|
|Wade Davis (DL)||Jeurys Familia|
|Will Harris||Kenley Jansen|
|Kelvin Herrera||Mark Melancon|
|Craig Kimbrel||Cesar Ramos|
|Andrew Miller||Fernando Rodney|
Eaton may face an uphill climb because usually the first replacement All-Stars come from the Final Vote ballot, which consists of the following:
- American League: Ian Kinsler, Evan Longoria, Dustin Pedroia, Michael Saunders, George Springer
- National League: Brandon Belt, Ryan Braun, Jake Lamb, Starling Marte, Trevor Story