The 2016 MLB All-Star teams for both the National League and American League will be announced later on Tuesday, with an hour long selection show on ESPN. A trio of Dodgers seem likely to hear their name called during the show — Corey Seager, Kenley Jansen and an injured Clayton Kershaw — and here is an overview of the selection process.
Fans elect the starting position players for each league, which means eight for the National League and nine, including the designated hitter, for the American League.
Voting ended at 9 p.m. PT on Thursday, June 30, and during the final full voting update on June 27 Seager was in third place among National League shortstops, well behind leading vote-getter Addison Russell of the Cubs, with Rockies shortstop Trevor Story in between. MLB sent out a truncated update on June 29, but the only mention at NL shortstop was that Story trailed Russell by 290,000 votes.
In other words, Seager won't be elected to start the game. But that's okay, because there are several options for him to make it as a reserve.
Major league players submit their own votes, for both position players and pitchers in each league. They select two players at each non-pitching position, designating a first choice and second choice, and also select five starting pitchers and three relievers. The leader in player votes at each position earns a spot, and if the players and fans chose the same player then the second-place finisher gets the spot.
For the National League, that means players and fans select a total of 16 position players — two at each position — five starting pitchers and three relief pitchers.
The final rosters will have 21 position players and 13 pitchers so the manager of each team — Terry Collins of the Mets and Ned Yost of the Royals — will fill the remaining roster spots, accounting for one spot filled by the fan-ballot Final Vote.
The one tricky part of the selection process is that every team must be represented by at least one player on the initial rosters, so those final spots could be affected by the need to fill that void.
Kershaw is on the shelf now, and won't pitch in the All-Star Game, but he was an obvious choice to start the game before he went on the disabled list. He'll likely receive the selection from the player vote, then just get replaced by another pitcher.
Seager is hitting .305/.363/.540 with 20 doubles and 17 home runs, and leads all National League shortstops in Wins Above Replacement using both the Baseball-Reference (3.5) and FanGraphs (3.9) versions. It would be a surprise if he is not among the top two shortstops in the player vote, but even if he isn't voted in, there is ample room for Collins to select him.
Jansen has been widely regarded as one of the best relievers in baseball for the past half-decade, but hasn't yet made an All-Star team. This year Jansen has the combination of gaudy superficial stats as well as strong peripherals that should finally end that drought.
Last year Jansen missed most of the first half after foot surgery and in 2014 his pre-break ERA was 3.49 and he was passed over. This year his ERA is at 1.30, is second in the NL with 25 saves, and has 44 strikeouts against only five walks. Jansen leads NL relievers in rWAR (1.6), fWAR (1.9) and FIP (1.44) as well.
Adam Liberatore has the eye-popping 0.65 ERA, and has been scored upon in just one of his 36 appearances, though it's usually difficult for relievers without flashy save or strikeout totals (Liberatore has 29 strikeouts in 27⅔ innings) to get recognized with All-Star honors. J.P. Howell had a 0.35 ERA in 34 games and 25⅔ innings last year, for instance, and was left off.
The 2016 All-Star Game will be played on Tuesday, July 12 at Petco Park in San Diego. Later tonight, we will find out just how many Dodgers will be there.
All-Star selection show
Time: 4 p.m. PT