Four Rockies named to the NL All-Star Team

DENVER, CO - JUNE 15: Charlie Blackmon #19 of the Coloarado Rockies rounds thrid base to score on a D.J. LeMahieu single in the first inning against the San Francisco Giants at Coors Field on June 15, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - JUNE 15: Charlie Blackmon #19 of the Coloarado Rockies rounds thrid base to score on a D.J. LeMahieu single in the first inning against the San Francisco Giants at Coors Field on June 15, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /
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Last night, the rosters were announced for the All-Star Game that will take place on Tuesday, July 11 in Miami, Florida.

Since the Rockies have performed well in the first half of the season, it is no surprise that they will have at least four representatives in Miami for the All-Star Game. They could have five or more representatives depending on the results of the Final Vote and if there are injuries or players that don’t play (e.g. starting pitchers that start on the Saturday or Sunday before the All-Star Game). Here are the definite representatives that the Rockies have.

Players in the Starting Lineup

The Rockies have two players who will be in the starting lineup come July 11. Nolan Arenado will be the starting third baseman for the National League and he is well deserving of it. In 83 games played, he has 15 HRs, 62 RBIs (third best in the NL), 27 2Bs (best in the NL), 5 3Bs (2nd best in the NL), 98 hits (tied for fourth best in the NL), a .298/.349/.547 slashline (batting average, on base percentage, and slugging percentage), a WAR (Wins Above Replacement) of 3.3 (2.7, according to Fangraphs.com.) A WAR of five or more in a whole season is considered “All-Star Quality”). Arenado has an OPS+ of 117, and a wRC+ of 117, according to Fangraphs (for the last two stats, 100 is league average). Defensively, the four-time Gold Glove Winner (he’s won in all seasons that he’s played in), he has a DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) of 16 according to Baseball Reference and zero is the league average (the number is actually 20 according to Fangraphs that you can see from the link above). Fangraphs also has his UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating) at 8.1 (again, zero is the league average).

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The other starter will be outfielder Charlie Blackmon. He has had a historical start to the season (as discussed in this article published by yours truly yesterday). Blackmon, in 82 games played, has 104 hits (leads the NL), 65 runs (second in the NL), 10 3Bs (leads the NL), 17 HRs, 58 RBIs, a .313/.366/.572 slashline, an OPS+ of 127, a wRC+ of 124 (according to Fangraphs), and a WAR of 1.9 (or 2.4, according to Fangraphs).

Coming Off The Bench

D.J. LeMahieu has also earned an All-Star nod as he will be on the bench. He, in 81 games, has 98 hits (tied for fourth best in the NL with his fellow All-Star teammate Nolan Arenado), 3 HRs, 38 RBIs, a .303/.361/.381 slashline, a WAR of 1.4 (according to Baseball Reference), and an OPS+ of 84 (which is below league average because LeMahieu’s lack of power). Defensively, the one-time Gold Glove Award Winner has 8 DRS (according to Baseball Reference) and a UZR of 4.4 (according to Fangraphs).

In The Bullpen

Greg Holland, as expected, was also named to the All-Star team. He has an ERA of 1.48 in 32 games, 26 saves (which leads all of baseball) out of 27 chances, an ERA+ of 343 (100 is league average), a WHIP (Walks+Hits divided by innings pitched) of 0.989 (one or less is considered excellent for a reliever), and an average of nearly 12 strikeouts per nine innings.

The Final Vote

As a part of MLB’s Final Vote, five players from each league are chosen and the top vote-getter will become an All-Star. For the NL, the Rockies’ Mark Reynolds is one of the five players. In 78 games, Reynolds has 19 HRs (tied for eighth best in the NL), 61 RBIs (fifth best in the NL), a .286/.373/.527 slashline, and an OPS+ of 122.

Possible Player Substitutions

Since he is on the final vote, in case of player injuries within the upcoming week, Mark Reynolds would be one of the top candidates to replace the injured player. However, on the pitching staff, rookie Kyle Freeland is an option for manager Joe Maddon to choose for his staff. Freeland is 8-6 with a 3.84 ERA in 16 starts and 93 2/3 innings pitched and a 131 ERA+ (again, 100 is league average). However, if the Rockies keep him on schedule, he would be slated to start on Sunday and would therefore, not be able to play in the game.

Next: Who should the Rockies look to help their bullpen?

Analysis

No matter whether the Rockies send four, five, or six players to the All-Star Game, they will be well-represented and all of them have earned the opportunity to play in the game.

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