With the 2023 MLB All-Star Game rosters now out, it’s time to talk about snubs. Look, every year there will be deserving players that are snubbed. But, which players that didn’t make it to Seattle have the most convincing cases? We’ve picked our five.
The American League will send two third baseman in Josh Jung (Rangers) and Jose Ramirez (Guardians), both of whom are deserving. But had Jung not been voted in by the fans, could his spot have gone to Rafael Devers? The Red Sox sensation entered play in the top 20 of the league in home runs (20) and extra base hits (38), and his 66 RBI are just two back of Matt Olson for the league lead. All those figures are ahead of the Rangers third baseman.
As of this writing, two of the top five in the Majors in terms of RBI, Devers and Josh Naylor, aren’t headed to Seattle for the 2023 MLB All-Star Game. Given what those two — particularly Devers — have accomplished this season, that’s a bitter pill to swallow.
Entering play on July 3, just seven players in the Majors have at least ten home runs and 15 stolen bases. Just two — Ronald Acuna Jr. and Corbin Carroll — are ticketed to Seattle, but a strong argument could be made for another player in that group in Josh Lowe. Through his first 70 games, Lowe hit .285 with 12 home runs, 19 stolen bases, and 48 RBI for a deep Rays team.
However, there are some arguments to the contrary. For one, the Rays have had a dominant campaign and three from that team are set to go to the All-Star Game. Second, which outfielder currently on the roster should have been passed over in favor of Lowe? That too is a tricky one, although Lowe could squeak in provided that both Aaron Judge and Yordan Alvarez are replaced. But for now, both him and Wander Franco are not set to head to Seattle at this time.
A number of relievers, including the likes of Jhoan Duran and Carlos Estevez, have arguments that they were snubbed. But what about Jordan Romano? The 2022 All-Star is currently tied with Emmanuel Clase and Camilo Doval, both of whom did make it, for the most saves in the league. While Romano’s ERA and WHIP have gone in the wrong direction this season, he’s still shutting down games and missing bats.
Romano is in a similar situation to Lowe. Toronto will send four to the All-Star Game, including 2B Whit Merrifield, a beneficiary of what’s been an odd year among AL second baseman. With that in mind, it does make at least some sense as to why the 30-year-old didn’t make it to the All-Star Game for the second straight season.
This is, admittedly, a hard sell just from looking at Ryan’s peripherals. Through his first 16 starts of the season, Ryan is 8-5 with a 3.44 ERA. However, Ryan’s ERA is heavily inflated after the 27-year-old yielded 12 runs over his last three starts. Ryan’s been relatively excellent this season aside from a pair of rough outings in June, and his 0.97 WHIP and 105:15 K:BB ratio over 96.2 IP are strong.
The Twins will send one of their top arms in Sonny Gray to Seattle this season, but an argument can be made for Ryan.
Speaking of AL starters, let’s talk about Tyler Wells. The 28-year-old has been a key to the Orioles success this season, as Wells owned a 6-4 record with a 3.21 ERA, a MLB-low 0.88 WHIP, and 95 strikeouts over 92.2 IP. It’s been a career year for Wells, who doesn’t throw hard for a tall pitcher but can change speeds and make life very uncomfortable for left-handers thanks to his cutter and changeup.
Both Ryan and Wells could and should be potential replacement options, given what the two have accomplished in 2023.