Blogger at NBC Sport.com's HardballTalk. Recovering litigator. Rake. Scoundrel. Notorious Man-About-Town.
The most boring and pointless thing to talk about this week and into early next week are All-Star snubs. For one thing, when you have a fan voting system and an “every team must have a representative” system, merit is only tangentially related to All-Star rosters, rendering the concept of “snubs” rather pointless. More to the point, however: a HUGE number of the guys who were putatively snubbed will end up making the All-Star team anyway due to injuries, “injuries” and guys simply backing out for various reasons, even if MLB doesn’t want them to.
The first replacement just came down: Indians starter Corey Kluber has been named to the AL All-Star roster as a replacement for Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Marco Estrada, who has been placed on the 15-day disabled list.
Kluber is 8-8 with a 3.79 ERA, striking out 114 batters in 114 innings. He’s been better than his record too, holding a 1.04 WHIP and limiting batters to a .219 batting average. Kluber joins fellow Indians Danny Salazar and Francisco Lindor on the roster.
There will be a lot more of these. Some for legit DL injuries like Estrada’s, some for ailments which, miraculously, heal late next week.
Mark Trumbo was traded away from Seattle last December for basically nothing. He’s making them regret that this year.
Trumbo went 3-for-6 with a double, two solo home runs and three runs scored in yesterday’s win over the Dodgers. He’s now hitting .285/.334/.570 with a major league leading 26 homers and 64 runs driven in. That’s a 50-home run pace. Trumbo has hit 30+ homers twice, but that was three and four years ago. He hit 14 homers in 2014 and 22 last season.
Yesterday it was announced that Trumbo would take part in the Home Run Derby. It’s well-deserved. Not bad for a guy that only cost the Orioles Steve Clevenger.
Cardinals second baseman Matt Carpenter checked his swing in the bottom of the third inning during yesterday’s game against the Pirates. He grimaced in pain and eventually walked off the field with a trainer. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny confirmed after the game that Carpenter suffered a right oblique strain.
Derrick Goold of the Post-Dispatch tweeted afterward that Matheny said there is “a high level of concern” about the injury and uncertainty over how much time Carpenter might miss. Many oblique strains lead to players missing a month or more.
Kolten Wong and Jedd Gyorko will cover while Carpenter is out, though his .298/.420/.568 batting line will be impossible to replace.