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Tony Gonsolin & Clayton Kershaw named to All-Star team, but not Will Smith or Freddie Freeman

Four Dodgers named to NL All-Star team, so far

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San Francisco Giants v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The Dodgers will be well-represented in the first MLB All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium in 42 years, but at least for now not as much as they expected.

Clayton Kershaw and Tony Gonsolin were named National League All-Stars on Sunday, giving Los Angeles four players on the NL squad in the midsummer classic.

This duo will join outfielder Mookie Betts and shortstop Trea Turner, who were voted by fans to start the All-Star Game, the first time the Dodgers have multiple position players starting since the last time they hosted, in 1980.

Will Smith and Freddie Freeman were not named All-Stars.

This is the ninth All-Star selection for Kershaw, breaking a tie with Don Drysdale for most years making an All-Star team by a pitcher in franchise history. The left-hander has a 2.40 ERA in 11 starts this season, with 69 strikeouts in 62⅔ innings. Kershaw missed a month on the injured list and doesn’t qualify for leaderboards, but among NL pitchers with at least 60 innings, he ranks fifth in ERA (2.40), fifth in xERA (2.72), fifth in FIP (2.57), sixth in strikeout-minus-walk rate (22.8 percent), and has the fourth-lowest walk rate (4.8 percent).

More importantly though, he’s Clayton Kershaw, which likely went a long way in the future Hall of Famer being chosen by the commissioner’s office to appear in a popular exhibition game for the sport in Kershaw’s home ballpark.

There’s been various columns of late calling for Kershaw to start the All-Star Game, something he’s never done. Technically, it’s Braves manager Brian Snitker who gets to choose the NL starting pitcher as manager of the National League All-Stars.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts joined the chorus on Saturday, telling reporters at Dodger Stadium that Kershaw should start the game. That was before the left-hander pitched into the eighth inning and struck out 10 in a win over the Cubs.

“I think it’s cool that people care. I’ve said it before — it just goes to show that I’ve been here a long time, which is special. I don’t take that for granted, to get to be here as long as I have,” Kershaw said Saturday of the possibility of him starting the All-Star Game, per SportsNet LA. “I know it would mean something to Dodgers fans, which is really cool.”

Gonsolin received the fifth-most votes from players among NL starting pitchers, behind Sandy Alcantara, Corbin Burnes, Joe Musgrove, and Max Fried. Kershaw was selected by the commissioner’s office.

Gonsolin is 11-0 with a 1.62 ERA in his breakout season, the major league leader in ERA and tied in wins with Justin Verlander, an American League All-Star. Gonsolin has a case to start the game, which is being played in his home ballpark, too.

Smith entered Sunday hitting .258/.351/.452 with a 129 wRC+, and 41 runs batted in that led NL catchers. Smith’s 13 home runs are tied with All-Star starting catcher Willson Contreras for most among NL catchers. But the Braves’ Travis d’Arnaud was voted in as catcher by the players.

Freeman entered Sunday hitting .296/.376/.477 with 26 doubles, 10 home runs and a 140 wRC+. He’s started all 85 games at first base this season. Pete Alonso of the Mets was voted to the All-Star roster by the players, and first baseman C.J. Cron was a commissioner’s pick as the Rockies’ only All-Star.

Every team must be represented on All-Star rosters.

Bryce Harper, voted by fans to start at DH, is on the injured list and won’t play in the All-Star Game. William Contreras, the players selection at DH, will start in place of Harper. But Harper’s roster spot hasn’t yet been replaced, so there’s still a path for Smith and/or Freeman to make it.

The All-Star Game will be played on Tuesday, July 19, televised by Fox.