No, Stephen Strasburg should not be an All-Star.
Don’t get me wrong, the kid’s been great since getting called up to the big leagues, but there are just far too many reasons why Strasburg shouldn’t take a trip to Anaheim this July.
Here are just a few of them.
In any other year, perhaps Strasburg would be an all star despite only playing a few weeks.
But this year isn’t like most years.
Starting pitching is probably the deepest position overall when looking at the National League.
Ubaldo Jimenez is having one of the best seasons of all time. Mike Pelfrey and Adam Wainwright have 10 wins plus a sub-three ERA. Chris Carpenter and Roy Halladay each have nine wins and a sub-three ERA.
Oh, and don’t forget Josh Johnson, who despite “only” having an 8-3 record, has a 1.83 ERA, the same has Jimenez.
Even more so, here are some other names that would be deserving of a bid over Strasburg: Yovani Gallardo, Tim Hudson, Matt Cain, and Carlos Silva.
Stephen Strasburg isn’t the best rookie starting pitcher in the National League this season. At least not statistically speaking he isn’t.
At least not yet.
Strasburg has competition from guys like Jaime Garcia, Mat Latos, John Ely, and Mike Leake.
Garcia may get overshadowed by teammates Carpenter and Wainwright, but he’s done well this season. He is 7-4 with a 2.27 ERA, third lowest in the National League behind Jimenez and Johnson.
In his first full season, Latos is 8-4 with a 2.85 ERA through just over 90 innings of work. He also has an impressive 84 strikeouts so far.
Leake is 5-1 with a 2.92 ERA through almost 90 innings this season. He also has 58 strikeouts.
Ely and Strasburg are a toss-up, but I give the slight edge to the Dodgers’ young hurler.
Ely’s numbers are deceiving. His 3-5 record, supported by a 3.86 ERA through less than 70 innings doesn’t seem like much. But consider this: Ely had three rough outings in a row (15 earned runs in 14.2 innings) before getting on track by shutting down the Angels.
Tyler Clippard, a former Yankees prospect, is silently putting together a fantastic season. At 8-5, Clippard has kept the Nationals slim playoff hopes alive.
He also held down the fort until Strasburg arrived.
Clippard sports a 2.25 ERA over roughly 50 innings of work.
He’s also struck out 53 batters so far this season.
Like Clippard, there are other Washington Nationals players who are more deserving of a roster spot for the National League.
Specifically, Ryan Zimmerman.
Zimmerman has been one of the best third basemen in all of baseball (again), and will probably get selected as a backup to probable starter David Wright.
Zimm has 13 homers and 37 RBI to go with a .286 batting average, and quite possibly the best glove at his position in all of baseball.
Besides Zimmerman and Clippard, closer Matt Capps and catcher Pudge Rodriguez would probably make better selections than Strasburg.
Perhaps if the Nationals were in first place, this would be a different story. But how many players can they reasonably expect to send to Anaheim?
Not enough for Strasburg to make the trip.
Strasburg is notably shy, and at 21 years old (and with so much hype surrounding him), maybe subjecting him to the limelight isn’t such a great idea.
By the time the All-Star Game rolls around, a break will probably serve Strasburg well.
Every start he’s made this season has been can’t-miss action, including his starts in the minors, which were well documented on various news outlets.
The hype surrounding Strasburg has been tremendous, and he’s certainly lived up to it in his first few starts, but inserting him into an All-Star Game right away isn’t a good idea.