Whit Merrifield Says Jose Altuve, Astros' Cheating Kept Him from All-Star Spot

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJanuary 23, 2020

Kansas City Royals second baseman Whit Merrifield catches the throw to make the first out of a double play hit into by Detroit Tigers' Miguel Cabrera during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

Kansas City Royals second baseman Whit Merrifield believes the Houston Astros cheating scandal cost him multiple accolades during the 2018 season.  

Speaking to Dave O of Clubhouse Conversation (h/t USA Today's Chris Bumbaca), Merrifield said he should have been an All-Star and won the Silver Slugger award if not for the Astros' wrongdoing.

"I'm going to consider myself an All-Star [for that year] with all this stuff that's come out," he told Dave O. "Because MLB player: Astros cheating kept me from being All Star that game. We'll put an asterisk by 2018. And on top of it, we'll go ahead and throw in a silver slugger for good measure." 

When Major League Baseball announced its findings into the Astros' cheating, the investigation determined the scheme was used throughout the entire 2017 season and a portion of the 2018 season until players "no longer believed it was effective."

Astros second baseman Jose Alutve started the 2018 All-Star Game. He led all players with a total of 4.8 million votes; the No. 2 overall vote-getter was Boston Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts (4.29 million). 

Gleyber Torres of the New York Yankees was initially the reserve second baseman but was replaced by Jed Lowrie of the Oakland Athletics due to injury.

Merrifield had the best season of his career in 2018. The 30-year-old finished 17th in AL MVP voting with a .304/.367/.438 slash line and an MLB-leading 192 hits and 45 stolen bases. 

Even though the 2018 All-Star Game won't officially go on Merrifield's record, he did receive an invite to last year's Midsummer Classic as Kansas City's representative. He took over for Mike Trout in center field, going 0-for-2 with one strikeout.

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