With the All Star Game rapidly approaching, the rosters were officially announced on Sunday. The Red Sox, Astros and Indians lead the league with a total of five players from each team going to the All Star Game. Highlighting the All Star Game for the Los Angeles Dodgers are Matt Kemp and Kenley Jansen. In addition to Kemp and Jansen, Max Muncy is a potential All Star as his name is on the Final Vote Ballot. Muncy does have competition for the Final Vote as he’s competing against Jesus Aguilar, who leads the National League in Home Run’s and has a .300 Average. Along with Aguilar, Brandon Belt of the San Francisco Giants is competing for the final spot. Belt has a top 15 batting average in the league.
The managers of this years All Star Game are the managers from last years World Series teams, Dave Roberts of the Dodgers and AJ Hinch of the Astros. They each have a tough decision as far as picking a pitcher to start the All Star Game. For the National League, Roberts has two clear choices, Jacob DeGrom or Max Scherzer. As for the American League, Hinch can choose Luis Severino or Justin Verlander. I imagine Severino getting the start over Verlander but who knows. After all, Verlander and Hinch did win the World Series together last year. On the other hand, it would be interesting to see Justin Verlander start the All Star Game against his former Detroit teammate, Max Scherzer. Both players are enjoying their new home towns and are continuing to put up solid numbers and career accomplishments.
The starting position players for the National League are:
- Willson Contreras, Catcher, Cubs
- Freddie Freeman, 1B, Braves
- Javy Baez, 2B, Cubs
- Brandon Crawford, SS, Giants
- Nolan Arenado, 3B, Rockies
- Bryce Harper, OF, Nationals
- Nick Markakis, OF, Braves
- Matt Kemp, OF, Dodgers
The starting position players for the American League are:
- Wilson Ramos, Catcher, Rays
- Jose Abreu, 1B, White Sox
- Jose Altuve, 2B, Astros
- Manny Machado, SS, Orioles
- Jose Ramirez, 3B, Indians
- Mookie Betts, OF, Red Sox
- Aaron Judge, OF, Yankees
- Mike Trout, OF, Angels
- J.D. Martinez, DH, Red Sox
Some notable players that are making their seventh All Star Game appearances are: Mike Trout, Justin Verlander, Chris Sale and Craig Kimbrel. In addition to those four players, Jose Altuve and Bryce Harper are making their sixth All Star Game.
Now let’s talk about a player that absolutely got snubbed this year, Blake Snell. Snell is sporting a 2.09 ERA (1st in American League), 12 Wins (tied for 2nd in American League), .183 Opp Avg. (tied for 3rd in American League), and 14 Quality Starts (tied for 3rd in American League). I mean, if Blake Snell was playing on the Astros or Red Sox, he would’ve made the team. However, he plays for a small market team and got completely overlooked. In a similar contrast, Ross Stripling didn’t get an All Star appearance even after winning six starts in a row while having a 2.00 ERA or less. Maybe next year it will happen.
If you’d like to wear the same hat as me and the same hat that the Dodgers All Stars will wear next week, you can purchase one here!
Finally, trade rumors. Everyone loves trade rumors and especially this month when the trade deadline takes place. Contending teams look to add last minute game changers and teams that have fallen out of contention shop their players around to get prospects in return. The most notable player that will be traded by the deadline is Manny Machado. The two time gold glove winner and four time All Star would enhance any lineup and would certainly help a contending team. A handful of teams have been rumored to be in the hunt for Machado. The Dodgers, Brewers and Yankees being the most recent teams in contact with the Orioles.
Unfortunately, dealing with the Orioles is next to impossible when it comes to trades. Their owner, Peter Angelos refuses to part with players unless the return is an arm and a leg. It was reported that the Dodgers offered Alex Verdugo and Yadier Alvarez for Manny Machado but that the deal was shut down. Verdugo is the Dodgers number one prospect among position players and Alvarez is the Dodgers number one pitching prospect. Even if the Dodgers had to kick in another two pieces, lets say Joc Pederson and Dustin May (Single A pitcher), I’d say make the deal. After all, Machado would only be a three month rental for whatever team lands him. Only time will tell what happens with the Manny Machado fiasco.
Moving on, the Dodgers have also been looking at a plethora of other players around the league. Recently, the Dodgers were looking at Reds 2nd baseman, Scooter Gennett, Twins 2nd baseman, Brian Dozier and Mets 2nd baseman, Asdrubal Cabrera. It’s no secret that the Dodgers have struggled at 2nd base this year, Logan Forsythe has been a bust over the last two years and is continuing to struggle at the plate. Landing any one of those 2nd baseman I mentioned above would be a huge improvement. I personally think that Scooter Gennett would be the best pickup out of the three. The Dodgers wouldn’t have to give up much to get him either. They’d probably part with a mid tier prospect but not a top prospect.
The final players that the Dodgers have been linked to are a few of the Marlins relievers. To be exact, Brad Ziegler, Kyle Barraclough and Adam Conley. The latter of the two, Barraclough and Conley, have been excellent so far this season and won’t be free agents for another two years. Either one of these pitchers would improve the Dodgers current bullpen which is missing Cingrani and Baez. If the Dodgers acquire one or both of these players, expect it to be a deal much like the Tony Cingrani trade from last season, sending Scott Van Slyke to Cincinnati in exchange for Cingrani. A player for player swap.
There’s still roughly three weeks until the Trade Deadline and it’s going to be exciting. Hopefully the Dodgers make the right decision this year and bring on someone that will impact the team for the better. Los Angeles is one or two players away from returning to a championship caliber ball club.