2016 MLB All-Star Roster: Complete Lineups and Top Storylines to Watch

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistJuly 8, 2016

Giants catcher Buster Posey
Giants catcher Buster PoseyAssociated Press

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
CBuster PoseySan Francisco Giants
1BAnthony RizzoChicago Cubs
2BBen ZobristChicago Cubs
3BKris BryantChicago Cubs
SSAddison RussellChicago Cubs
OFDexter FowlerChicago Cubs
OFBryce HarperWashington Nationals
OFYoenis CespedesNew York Mets
CWilson RamosWashington Nationals
CJonathan LucroyMilwaukee Brewers
1BPaul GoldschmidtArizona Diamondbacks
1BWil MyersSan Diego Padres
2BDaniel MurphyWashington Nationals
SSCorey SeagerLos Angeles Dodgers
3BNolan ArenadoColorado Rockies
3BMatt CarpenterSt. Louis Cardinals
OFAdam DuvallCincinnati Reds
OFOdubel HerreraPhiladelphia Phillies
OFCarlos GonzalezColorado Rockies
OFMarcell OzunaMiami Marlins
SPJake ArrietaChicago Cubs
SPMadison BumgarnerSan Francisco Giants
SPJohnny CuetoSan Francisco Giants
SPJose FernandezMiami Marlins
SPClayton KershawLos Angeles Dodgers
SPJon LesterChicago Cubs
SPStephen StrasburgWashington Nationals
SPJulio TeheranAtlanta Braves
SPNoah SyndergaardNew York Mets
RPJeurys FamiliaNew York Mets
RPKenley JansenLos Angeles Dodgers
RPMark MelanconPittsburgh Pirates
RPA.J. RamosMiami Marlins
RPFernando RodneyMiami Marlins
Source: MLB.com
American League All-Stars
CSalvador PerezKansas City Royals
1BEric HosmerKansas City Royals
2BJose AltuveHouston Astros
3BManny MachadoBaltimore Orioles
SSXander BogaertsBoston Red Sox
OFMike TroutLos Angeles Angels
OFJackie Bradley Jr.Boston Red Sox
OFMookie BettsBoston Red Sox
DHDavid OrtizBoston Red Sox
CMatt WietersBaltimore Orioles
CStephen VogtOakland Athletics
1BMiguel CabreraDetroit Tigers
2BRobinson CanoSeattle Mariners
3BJosh DonaldsonToronto Blue Jays
SSFrancisco LindorCleveland Indians
SSEduardo NunezMinnesota Twins
OFCarlos BeltranNew York Yankees
OFIan DesmondTexas Rangers
OFMark TrumboBaltimore Orioles
DHEdwin EncarnacionToronto Blue Jays
SPMarco EstradaToronto Blue Jays
SPCole HamelsTexas Rangers
SPDanny SalazarCleveland Indians
SPChris SaleChicago White Sox
SPSteven WrightBoston Red Sox
RPDellin BetancesNew York Yankees
RPBrad BrachBaltimore Orioles
RPZach BrittonBaltimore Orioles
RPAlex ColomeTampa Bay Rays
RPWade DavisKansas City Royals
RPWill HarrisHouston Astros
RPKelvin HerreraKansas City Royals
RPCraig KimbrelBoston Red Sox
RPAndrew MillerNew York Yankees
Source: MLB.com


Top Storylines

Who's the American League Starting Pitcher?

White Sox pitcher Chris Sale
White Sox pitcher Chris SaleCharles Krupa/Associated Press/Associated Press

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?

Cubs outfielder Dexter Fowler
Cubs outfielder Dexter FowlerPaul Beaty/Associated Press/Associated Press

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?

Padres first baseman Wil Myers
Padres first baseman Wil MyersDavid Zalubowski/Associated Press/Associated Press

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:

AJ Cassavell @AJCassavell

Wil Myers should start at DH. It'd be cool for SD. But if the NL has 4 3rd basemen, it'd be a hassle getting them time without DH-ing one.

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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