Rosters for the 2017 All-Star Game were announced on Sunday afternoon, and the Dodgers have four players named to the game, though the story seems to be about who got snubbed.
Representing the Dodgers in Miami will be shortstop Corey Seager, first baseman and outfielder Cody Bellinger, starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw, and closer Kenley Jansen.
The All-Star Game will be played on Tuesday, July 11 at Marlins Park in Miami.
Justin Turner and Alex Wood did not make it, inexplicably. Turner is among the five players in the National League Final Vote for the 32nd and final roster spot.
Seager received 2,380,026 fan votes, narrowly losing out lost out to Zack Cozart of the Reds (2,466,143) for the start at shortstop. Seager made the team as a reserve via player selection, though the players also gave more votes to Cozart (491) than Seager (416).
The Dodgers’ second-year star followed up his Rookie of the Year campaign with another strong season, hitting .306/.405/.522 with 21 doubles and 13 home runs. This is his second All-Star appearance in as many seasons.
This is the seventh consecutive season that Kershaw has been named an All-Star. Among Dodgers pitchers, only Don Drysdale (nine appearances), Koufax and Kershaw have made at least seven All-Star teams.
Kershaw, 12-2 with a 2.32 ERA in 17 starts, with 135 strikeouts and 20 walks in 116⅓ innings, will head to Miami but there is a chance he might not pitch. Kershaw amazingly hasn’t started an All-Star Game, and is a candidate to start for the NL along with Max Scherzer of the Nationals. But with Kershaw starting Tuesday against Arizona, he is also in line to start Sunday, which would make him ineligible to pitch in Miami.
“We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it,” manager Dave Roberts told reporters on Friday in San Diego, per Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register. “But I would think he would probably make that start for the Dodgers.”
This is the second straight All-Star appearance for Jansen, who has emerged as the best closer at least in the National League, and in the first season of a five-year, $80 million contract to return to the Dodgers. Jansen set a major league record with 51 strikeouts before his first walk of 2017, and boasts a 0.79 ERA to go along with his 18 saves — including eight saves of four outs or more — 53 strikeouts and just that one walk in 34 innings.
Kershaw received the most player votes among NL starting pitchers, and Jansen received the most votes among NL relievers.
Bellinger, the Dodgers’ top prospect heading into the season, started the season in Triple-A. He was called up on Apr. 25 for what was expected to be a short first stint in the majors. But thanks to several circumstances — not the least of which was Bellinger’s bat — he is here to stay. The rookie leads the National League with 24 home runs — the fastest player to 24 career home runs in MLB history — and leads the Dodgers with 56 RBI.
Bellinger was a player selection, finishing fourth in the player vote, behind fan-voted starters Charlie Blackmon, Bryce Harper, and Marcell Ozuna.
Bellinger is just the eighth Dodgers rookie to be named an All-Star, though three of those have come in the last three seasons, along with Joc Pederson (2015) and Seager (2016).
Wood started the season in the Dodgers bullpen but quickly ascended to the rotation, and has been lights out even since. The left-hander is 9-0 with a 1.83 ERA, with 87 strikeouts and 20 walks in 73⅔ innings. Among major league pitchers with at least 60 innings, Wood’s 1.83 ERA trails only Dallas Keuchel of the Astros (1.67).
Turner missed three weeks with a hamstring strain, but that was the only blip in an otherwise stellar first half for the Dodgers. The third baseman is hitting a ridiculous .384/.474/.559 on the season, in line to smash the franchise record for batting average before the All-Star break.
Among Dodgers players with at least 200 plate appearances in the “first half,” Dixie Walker’s .368 in 1946 leads the way.