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Should Stephen Strasburg be an All-Star?

June 30, 2010

Normally, I would be against putting a rookie in an All-Star game. The only exception would be if he was performing at or above his peers’ level of performance – think Albert Pujols in 2001. This year we almost had a case of “overhyped rookie + hot April + mediocre rest of season + mediocre overall stats = All-Star starter.”  Of course, I’m talking about Atlanta Braves’ rookie rightfielder Jason Heyward. But we don’t have to worry about him taking away an All-Star spot from someone who deserves it; Heyward is on the 15-day DL with an injured thumb and won’t be playing in the Midsummer Classic.

But now we face the same dilemma, only with a pitcher. “Should Stephen Strasburg be an All-Star?” is a question that has made the rounds throughout various media outlets over the past week or so. Strasburg has only made five starts, and, so far, he has lived up to the hype and pitched extremely well. Strasburg is 2-2 with a 48:7 K:BB. His ERA is 2.27, his WHIP is 1.01, and he has recorded at least seven strikeouts in every game.

You can’t argue that Strasburg’s stats aren’t All-Star-worthy; he has a better K/9, BB/9 and K/BB than the NL’s best pitcher this year, Ubaldo Jimenez. The only thing holding Strasburg back from being in the All-Star game is his service time. Having only made five starts, many big leaguers and media-types don’t believe he deserves to be in the All-Star game just because he hasn’t pitched enough. To this, I say BOLOGNA!

If the All-Star game was simply what it is – an exhibition – instead of it deciding home-field advantage in the World Series, then Strasburg probably wouldn’t have as many people in his corner for him to be in the game. But since the NL should want to have their best players on the field to give them the best chance to win, they should want Strasburg on the team.

Imagine bringing Strasburg in from the bullpen in the seventh, eighth or ninth inning to face A-Rod, Nelson Cruz and Miguel Cabrera. The NL’s starting pitching should be lights-out in this game, and adding Strasburg would make the rotation even more formidable. Only a couple of All-Stars would have batted against Strasburg (the Indians, White Sox and Royals are the only AL teams to face Strasburg) and they obviously didn’t fare very well against him.

According to one media-type Strasburg’s third-best pitch is better than most pitchers’ best pitch. I really think Strasburg should be invited to the All-Star game. Whether he pitches or not depends on when his last start was previous to the All-Star game and if Charlie Manuel wants to use him – he’d be silly not to.

The Nationals might be worried about any added stress on Strasburg’s young arm, but they shouldn’t be. He wouldn’t be pitching more than an inning, I assume, and his appearance in the game could be similar to a regular bullpen session. The Nats could push Strasburg’s next start back a couple days after the break, and he could be good to go once the season resumes.

Like I said earlier, I’m usually not in favor of rewarding rookies who are overhyped. But since Strasburg has been dominating lineups left and right since making his MLB debut I believe he should be the exception. One-hundred mile-an-hour heat with a 90 mph changeup coming out of the bullpen in the late innings would be a great ace to have up the NL’s sleeve. Charlie Manuel’s Phillies have a great chance of making it back to the World Series, and he should use Strasburg’s arm to help make sure they have home-field advantage in the Fall Classic.

What do you guys think? Should Strasburg be an All-Star?


From → Odds & Ends

  1. Amanda Berry permalink

    I like your writing style. And I think he should be an All-Star and a great addition to the NL team.

  2. Nate-Dawg permalink

    I think he should also be in the game. How many of his starts has he struggled in the first 2 innings of the game? None….he doesnt get hit the first time through the lineup so a 1 inning appearance would be perfect for him. There is no way you can go from the other NL pitchers to facing him and actually produce off him. There is too much change from the other guys to him. And I don’t think the Nationals would be too hurt if he pitched 1 inning…oh my he can only pitch 149 innings for us.

    Put him in.

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