David Dahl walked into Coors Field Sunday morning and was called into Bud Black’s office. The TVs in the room had the All-Star red carpet in the background. Black asked him if he’d ever watched that and Dahl answered yes. Black soon revealed that he was going to be in it this year. The player who has been through so much to stay on the field, then hugged his manager.
In 2017 David Dahl didn’t have much to say. He was shut down for the season after complications from a rib injury. But what little he had to say, he replaced with putting in the work to get back to the player he knew he could be. In 2019, after being selected to the 90th Midsummer Classic as a result from player balloting, not much has changed. Well except for his health that is.
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“It’s just bad luck that I’ve had in the past,” Dahl said about his injury history. I try not to think about it. When you think about it, everyone want to be an All-Star. It’s an honor to hear [the players voted me in] and see all of our hard work pay off. I just wanted to come in every day and get my work in. Help the team win. I really don’t know what to say right now.”
Dahl kept saying that last part and the reporters gathered around his locker would laugh. But it just emphasizes how he has kept the same approach and not get too high or too low in any moment of his career. It has led to career highs in almost every category and we are not even through the half-way mark of the season. While this may be the most surprising Rockies addition at the All-Star break, it doesn’t mean it’s any less deserved.
Really the only Rockies shoe-in for the game is Nolan Arenado. With Charlie Blackmon and Trevor Story missing significant time, it wasn’t guaranteed they’d make it even putting in some of the most impressive work of their career. None of that mattered as the team will have four players represent in Cleveland, OH this year. This is only the second time in franchise history that has happened, while the last time was in 2017 when Arenado, Blackmon, DJ LeMahieu and Gregg Holland were selected. Arenado is an All-Star for the fifth time (already tying the franchise record), Blackmon for the fourth time, Story for the second time and Dahl’s first time.
Blackmon has had a historic June since returning from injury. In the series against the Dodgers he recorded 3+ in six straight games. This is the longest single-season streak in the modern era. This is not to mention that Blackmon has reached base in all 30 of his games at Coors Field. This is tied for the fifth-longest home on-base streak to start a season in franchise history. The last to do it was Todd Helton in 2003. As for Story, he is in a Triple-A rehab assignment and hopefully be back before the All-Star game. Before going on the IL on June 20, he went on a torrid home run pace with 17 and is currently hitting a career high .294. Somehow, his glove is arguably better.
Last, but certainly not least, is Arenado. While he is hitting a career-high .321 with 20 home runs already, his campaign hasn’t got the recognition that he has in years past. His 3.5 WAR is better than those of Manny Machado and Bryce Harper combined. The NFL Network has a documentary about Larry Fitzgerald illustrating a similar point. One of Fitzgerald’s former quarterbacks was amazed at how easy the receiver made it look catching every ball, even in practice, that people stopped reacting. The quarterback wondered why nobody was giving him Fitzgerald props.
Arenado is like Fitzgerald in many ways. He is one of the most stand-up guys in the league, he is a vacuum with the ball, one of the best to ever do it at their position, future hall-of-famers and they’ve made the super-human look easy. We can’t let that talent go unrecognized. No matter how routine it gets. These four All-Star selections go a long way in giving these well deserved candidates their due props.