The MLB All-Star rosters have been announced for each league, but there are still unanswered questions heading into the Midsummer Classic.
There will be a few changes to the rosters in the coming days, including injury replacements and fill-ins for pitchers who won't be able to go on short rest. There is also the final vote that will add one more hitter to each squad.
However, it will be just as interesting to follow the managerial decisions within the lineup about who will play and when. Here is a look at the full rosters along with some questions that will be answered before Tuesday night.
|National League All-Stars|
|C||Buster Posey||San Francisco Giants|
|1B||Anthony Rizzo||Chicago Cubs|
|2B||Ben Zobrist||Chicago Cubs|
|3B||Kris Bryant||Chicago Cubs|
|SS||Addison Russell||Chicago Cubs|
|OF||Dexter Fowler||Chicago Cubs|
|OF||Bryce Harper||Washington Nationals|
|OF||Yoenis Cespedes||New York Mets|
|C||Wilson Ramos||Washington Nationals|
|C||Jonathan Lucroy||Milwaukee Brewers|
|1B||Paul Goldschmidt||Arizona Diamondbacks|
|1B||Wil Myers||San Diego Padres|
|2B||Daniel Murphy||Washington Nationals|
|SS||Corey Seager||Los Angeles Dodgers|
|3B||Nolan Arenado||Colorado Rockies|
|3B||Matt Carpenter||St. Louis Cardinals|
|OF||Adam Duvall||Cincinnati Reds|
|OF||Odubel Herrera||Philadelphia Phillies|
|OF||Carlos Gonzalez||Colorado Rockies|
|OF||Marcell Ozuna||Miami Marlins|
|SP||Jake Arrieta||Chicago Cubs|
|SP||Madison Bumgarner||San Francisco Giants|
|SP||Johnny Cueto||San Francisco Giants|
|SP||Jose Fernandez||Miami Marlins|
|SP||Clayton Kershaw||Los Angeles Dodgers|
|SP||Jon Lester||Chicago Cubs|
|SP||Stephen Strasburg||Washington Nationals|
|SP||Julio Teheran||Atlanta Braves|
|SP||Noah Syndergaard||New York Mets|
|RP||Jeurys Familia||New York Mets|
|RP||Kenley Jansen||Los Angeles Dodgers|
|RP||Mark Melancon||Pittsburgh Pirates|
|RP||A.J. Ramos||Miami Marlins|
|RP||Fernando Rodney||Miami Marlins|
|American League All-Stars|
|C||Salvador Perez||Kansas City Royals|
|1B||Eric Hosmer||Kansas City Royals|
|2B||Jose Altuve||Houston Astros|
|3B||Manny Machado||Baltimore Orioles|
|SS||Xander Bogaerts||Boston Red Sox|
|OF||Mike Trout||Los Angeles Angels|
|OF||Jackie Bradley Jr.||Boston Red Sox|
|OF||Mookie Betts||Boston Red Sox|
|DH||David Ortiz||Boston Red Sox|
|C||Matt Wieters||Baltimore Orioles|
|C||Stephen Vogt||Oakland Athletics|
|1B||Miguel Cabrera||Detroit Tigers|
|2B||Robinson Cano||Seattle Mariners|
|3B||Josh Donaldson||Toronto Blue Jays|
|SS||Francisco Lindor||Cleveland Indians|
|SS||Eduardo Nunez||Minnesota Twins|
|OF||Carlos Beltran||New York Yankees|
|OF||Ian Desmond||Texas Rangers|
|OF||Mark Trumbo||Baltimore Orioles|
|DH||Edwin Encarnacion||Toronto Blue Jays|
|SP||Marco Estrada||Toronto Blue Jays|
|SP||Cole Hamels||Texas Rangers|
|SP||Danny Salazar||Cleveland Indians|
|SP||Chris Sale||Chicago White Sox|
|SP||Steven Wright||Boston Red Sox|
|RP||Dellin Betances||New York Yankees|
|RP||Brad Brach||Baltimore Orioles|
|RP||Zach Britton||Baltimore Orioles|
|RP||Alex Colome||Tampa Bay Rays|
|RP||Wade Davis||Kansas City Royals|
|RP||Will Harris||Houston Astros|
|RP||Kelvin Herrera||Kansas City Royals|
|RP||Craig Kimbrel||Boston Red Sox|
|RP||Andrew Miller||New York Yankees|
Who's the American League Starting Pitcher?
Danny Salazar has had a great season to this point. He leads the American League in ERA by a wide margin at 2.36, only once allowing more than three runs in a game. His .195 opponent batting average trails only Toronto's Marco Estrada, and Salazar's play is a major reason the Cleveland Indians are in first place in the AL Central.
Boston's Steven Wright has been one of the best stories of the baseball season as an out-of-nowhere knuckleball pitcher who has been one of the top starters in the majors.
However, the favorite to start the All-Star Game remains Chris Sale of the Chicago White Sox. The left-hander has a 0.98 WHIP and a solid 2.93 ERA, but the truly eye-popping number is his 14-2 record. Although wins have been devalued in baseball as of late, there is still something to be said for having this many victories in the first half of the year.
Sale pitches deep into games and is as consistent as they come, not just this season, but for the last five years as a starter.
Despite the heavy competition, Sale should be named the starter.
Will Dexter Fowler Be Back in Time?
Considering five different Chicago Cubs position players were voted in as starters, no one would be too upset if one of them couldn't play in the All-Star Game. However, Dexter Fowler remains a question mark after dealing with a hamstring injury for the past few weeks.
The outfielder was eligible to come off the disabled list Monday but is just beginning his rehab assignment Friday, per Carrie Muskat of MLB.com.
While the Cubs have certainly missed their leadoff hitter, returning for the All-Star Game has been just as important as returning to his team, as manager Joe Maddon discussed.
"He wants to play in the All-Star Game," Maddon said of Fowler, per ESPN.com's Jesse Rogers. "Don't anyone fault him for that. It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. And I'm all for it. Let's see how this plays the rest of the weekend, but the overriding concern is that he plays for us the rest of the year."
It wouldn't be hard to replace Fowler if he is unable to play. Colorado's Carlos Gonzalez and Pittburgh's Starling Marte might be more deserving of the honor anyway after posting strong numbers in the first half. However, this is the veteran outfielder's first chance to play in this exhibition in eight years in the majors.
Although Chicago fans would rather see him rest for an extra few days and come back healthier, it's understandable for Fowler to do whatever it takes to be in San Diego.
How Will National League DH Be Used?
The starters are voted on by fans at each position, but New York Mets manager Terry Collins will get the opportunity to add one more starter at designated hitter.
This is an excellent chance to make up for an oversight by the fans at any position. This could include Washington's Daniel Murphy, Colorado's Nolan Arenado, Los Angeles' Corey Seager or anyone else who arguably should have started if not for some ballot-stuffing by Cubs fans.
On the other hand, A.J. Cassavell of MLB.com provides another idea for the DH spot:
In addition to the convenience of shuffling the lineup, Wil Myers would provide the San Diego fans with a hometown player to cheer for right out of the gate.
Myers is also in the midst of the best season of his young career, so he is also deserving of the spot. While other players might have better numbers, there likely won't be too many complaints if the 25-year-old hitter is added to the starting lineup.
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