Mookie Betts, Freddie Freeman, and J.D. Martinez were voted by fans to start the 2023 MLB All-Star Game, which will be held on Tuesday, July 11 in Seattle. A few other Dodgers will surely join them in the midsummer classic, but first let’s look at how rosters are selected to see what avenues remains.
MLB All-Star rosters have 32 players, including 20 position players and 12 pitchers. The league office can appoint additional players as “legends,” which we saw last year with Albert Pujols and Miguel Cabrera. But they don’t count against the regular 32-player roster.
Fans vote for the nine starting position players in each league.
Players also vote for nine position players, one at each position plus three outfielders. If the top vote-getter from players was also voted to start by fans, the player with the second-most votes from players at that position gets the All-Star berth.
Players also vote for five starting pitchers and three relievers in each league.
That leaves four pitchers and two position players for the league office to select. Long gone are the days of All-Star managers — the previous year’s pennant winners — filling out the rosters.
Every major league team must be represented on All-Star rosters, which often is a factor for the league office in those final six roster spots. Last year, for instance, five of the six league office picks in each league were needed to satisfy the requirement of one player from each team. That doesn’t leave much leeway, especially when folks wonder why Player X isn’t an All-Star.
Another thing to remember is when All-Star rosters are announced on Sunday (2:30 p.m. PT, on ESPN) is that there are still several chances for players to get added. Last year, 14 players made the All-Star team as a replacement for someone else, including Freeman and Tyler Anderson.