The New York Mets are in first place by 3.5 games heading into the final week of the first half. The All-Star teams have been announced and to the surprise of many, the team has only one player headed to Colorado.
Jacob deGrom, the best pitcher in baseball proven once again by the Mets’ bludgeoning of Gerrit Cole on Sunday, will be the lone member of the club representing the orange and blue. However, with his final start of the first half scheduled for the Sunday before the All-Star Game, he’s already not expected to pitch.
This means deGrom will likely be replaced on the National League roster by another arm. It’s not uncommon for players to bow out of the Midsummer Classic due to disinterest, injuries, or a lack of availability. deGrom falls into the final category. For another member of the Mets, this does help his All-Star case.
If Jacob deGrom doesn’t represent the Mets at the All-Star Game, Taijuan Walker should
It’s only natural that the replacement for deGrom at this year’s All-Star Game will be Taijuan Walker. In his first year with the Mets, Walker has gone 7-3 with a 2.44 ERA in 15 starts. Deserving of a nod from the start without having to replace someone, at least we can (hopefully) count on Walker getting rewarded with a stellar first half of 2021.
Walker isn’t the only member of the Mets we could consider a snub. Fellow starter Marcus Stroman, now 6-6 with a 2.60 ERA after 17 starts, definitely has numbers to justify an All-Star nomination. There’s also a case that a reliever like Edwin Diaz could deserve a spot.
Anyone who has watched the Mets take their hacks can understand why no batters were in contention to make the team. We will have Pete Alonso’s Home Run Derby title defense to watch. Other than this, we won’t be seeing a Mets player swing a bat for a few days.
A single All-Star in 2021 does come as a surprise because of how well the Mets have played in the standings. In the National League, the only other teams with a single representative are the Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, and Miami Marlins. All three are vying for the worst record in the league. The Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals are sending three players to the game with the Philadelphia Phillies sending a pair.
Even the Pittsburgh Pirates have two players going to the game.
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Every season has its share of All-Star snubs. This year, the Mets had at least one. It’s easily Walker, a guy whose only hope right now to receive his first All-Star nod relies on a teammate being unavailable.