The rosters for the American and National Leagues in the upcoming All-Star Game were announced on Sunday night. The Dodgers have four All-Stars: Clayton Kershaw, Kenley Jansen, Corey Seager, and Cody Bellinger. Justin Turner can be added to the roster if he wins the Final Vote.
Jansen thinks Seager and Turner should be starting for the NL and for that, he blames Dodger fans, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports. “I’ll say it loud and clear again. It’s the Dodger fans’ fault,” he said.
First of all, it’s not obvious that Seager should be starting over Zack Cozart. They have pretty similar offensive stats, but Cozart appears to have the edge especially if you put more weight on rate stats:
- Seager: .299/.401/.511, 13 HR, 40 RBI, 57 R
- Cozart: .321/.404/.558, 9 HR, 33 RBI, 40 R
Defensive metrics also have the two close to each other.
As for Turner, while his stats are awesome, he has only played in 58 games. Comparatively, Nolan Arenado has played in 82 games and taken 111 more plate appearances than Turner. As teams have just recently crossed the halfway point of their 162-game schedules, a 24-game difference is nearly one-third of the season to date.
But even glossing over that, Jansen’s blame is misplaced. The blame should be on DirectTV and Charter Communications. Because the two sides haven’t been able to strike a deal for four years now, many Dodger fans in Los Angeles have been unable to watch their hometown team play baseball on TV. If fans are unable to watch the Dodgers, their interest in the team dissipates. And that explains why the Dodgers don’t have a player starting for the National League in the All-Star Game.
Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.
The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.
Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.
As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:
Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.
Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.
Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.