Rosters for the 2018 All-Star Game were announced Sunday afternoon, and the Dodgers are sending two players for the time being.
Representing the Dodgers in Miami will be outfielder Matt Kemp and closer Kenley Jansen, while infielder Max Muncy is one of the five candidates in the National League Final Vote.
Kemp adds another notch to the surprising season he has put together this season after he was practically left for dead money during the winter. The 33-year-old will get the start in the outfield for the National League team, receiving 2,930,353 fan votes to join Nick Markakis of the Braves (3,556,469) and Bryce Harper (2,335,733).
This will be the third All-Star selection for Kemp (2011, 2012) who is hitting .317/.355/.550 this year, with 18 doubles, 15 homers and 57 RBI. This is also the first Dodger to start since Yasiel Puig in 2014.
One more thing to note: Matt Kemp received the most votes among NL outfielders from the players. pic.twitter.com/NM4sLEsjZp— Eric Stephen (@ericstephen) July 9, 2018
Jansen will be making his third straight All-Star appearance, despite giving up more runs (14, 11 earned) to this point than he did all of last season (11, 10 earned). But Jansen has still nailed down 24 saves with a 1.26 ERA since April 21.
The big right-hander spoke to media about how he was unsure he would make it because he has struggled at times this year.
“It feels more special than the first two. Those I pretty much knew I’d be an All-Star, but this one, very slow April, I took all the criticism and put it on my shoulder and motivated me,” said Jansen. “This is special, to hear the players voted for you. I turned my season around, and it means a lot.”
The most unlikely of All-Star selections could belong to Max Muncy, that is, if he is successful in the Final Vote. Fans can cast their votes for Muncy from a field of five players from each League over the balloting period, which concludes on Wednesday, July 11 at 1:00 p.m. PT.
Virtually unknown on a national level, Muncy has turned into one of the better hitters in all of baseball in 2018, and one of the keys that helped the Dodgers dig out of their 16-26 hole. It would be Muncy’s first career trip to the midsummer classic.
Drafted in the fifth round back in 2012 by the Athletics, Muncy had only 245 plate appearances in the big leagues prior to this year. Now the patient lefty is leading the Dodgers in homers (20) and walks (45), hitting .270/.410/.617 as the only player in the National League with an OPS higher than 1.000 with a minimum of 200 plate appearances.
Ross Stripling didn’t hear his name called Sunday when the selections were announced. But that doesn’t mean “Chicken Strip” won’t be headed to Nationals Park.
The right-hander is deserving of a spot on the All-Star team after taking advantage of the opportunity in the Dodger rotation due to necessity. Stripling is 7-1 with a 2.19 ERA, striking out 84 in 70 innings while only giving up six walks since permanently jumping into a starting spot back on May 6.
If Stripling finds his way on the roster as a substitute, it would also be his first time receiving the honor.