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Chris Sale an All-Star for fifth straight season

Condor is the lone White Sox representative in San Diego for now

Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

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:

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
DH David Ortiz
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

Marcell Ozuna
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