The Baltimore Orioles have been a fixture in the All-Star Game since their winning ways began in 2012, with at least two players in the game every year. But that may change this year.
The Baltimore Orioles have been a fixture in the All-Star Game since their winning ways began in 2012, with at least two players in the game every year. All of that is likely to change in 2017.
While you can argue that Jonathan Schoop should be a candidate at second base, and Trey Mancini should be a candidate at DH, the Orioles are a team where no one is standing out to the national baseball world, and Oriole fans don’t stuff the ballot like Royals fans.
And, none of the pitching staff is likely to make it. Zach Britton has hardly pitched, and it would be unlikely that he would go to the All-Star Game is chosen. He is currently set to return just a week before the game.
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2017 would mark a low point in recent All-Star Games if only the mandatory one player makes the roster.
Let’s look back at some other years.
In 2016, the Baltimore Orioles had five players make the All-Star Game, which included Manny Machado as a starter. Also making the team were Matt Wieters, Mark Trumbo (who also participated in the Home Run Derby), Brad Brach (rather controversially, per Keith Law) and Zach Britton.
In 2015, the Birds had four players make the game. Adam Jones was a reserve, but started in left field in place of an injured Alex Gordon. Also making the team as a reserve was Manny Machado. Zach Britton and Darren O’Day were in the American League bullpen.
In 2014, three different Baltimore Orioles were voted as starters. Matt Wieters, Adam Jones and Nelson Cruz were all voted to start the game, although Wieters did not play due to injury.
2013 was another year in which the Orioles sent five players to the Mid Summer Classic. Chris Davis, J.J. Hardy and Adam Jones all started the game, with Manny Machado as a reserve. Chris Tillman was chosen to go to the game when Justin Verlander was ineligible after pitching the Sunday before.
The Orioles’ renaissance began in 2012, and the Orioles had two reserves and one bullpen member in that game. Jim Johnson was in the bullpen, and Adam Jones and Matt Wieters were both reserves.
Some would say this is a blessing in disguise, and I wouldn’t disagree.
Adam Jones has stayed fresh this year by being able to take some days off. Manny Machado is starting to rebound from a numerically rough start, and it will be good for him to have a few days to get away from the game.
Jonathan Schoop has been hit by a pitch nine times, which is in the top ten in baseball. He could use a few days of rest as well.
Welington Castillo has also been on the disabled list twice, so it would be good for get him some more rest
It is also worth noting that all four of these guys participated in the World Baseball Classic, another reason why some rest and rejuvenation would be a very good thing.
The Orioles’ rotation and bullpen are not worthy of sending a player to the All-Star Game. However, if a player like Mychal Givens or Dylan Bundy was to be considered, I think they both could use some rest, particularly Bundy, as Buck Showalter has discussed.
In the end, who is the Orioles’ representative? It might be Machado, simply because he is one of the faces of baseball. It also could be Schoop, who has done a fantastic job this year, maybe even Trey Mancini, who forced his way on to the team and then in to the lineup.
Regardless of who is chosen, (and while I think it deserves to be Schoop, my assumption is that it will be his best friend Machado), the Orioles are likely to only get one player.
When it comes to the health and ability of the Orioles, I think the rest will do them good. Not making the team may even motivate some players to finish 2017 in a strong way.