Rays catcher Wilson Ramos and manager Kevin Cash are heading to the 2018 All-Star game, but the star pitcher in Tampa Bay is a glaring omission. Blake Snell leads the American League in ERA and is a consensus top-ten pitcher by most metrics, but in the initial naming of rosters Snell was not announced.
David Schoenfield of ESPN provided a breakdown of how this likely came to pass:
Remember the rules: The players vote for the first five starting pitchers and first three relievers. I mentioned the loaded group of AL starters. The players went with Luis Severino, Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole, Chris Sale and Corey Kluber. It’s hard to argue against anyone in that group. Maybe Snell has an edge over Cole, but Cole started out on fire, and that no doubt helped him in the voting.
And of course, this is not the final roster. Players are removed from the All-Star Game for various baseball reasons (injury or pitching schedule) that may provide a way for Snell to break through to where he belongs.
But the initial snub still stings.
Consequently, baseball players, writers, and fans are up in arms over Snell’s snub:
American League ERA leader Blake Snell wasn't named an All-Star, and Rays teammate @ChrisArcher22 is calling for everyone involved in the selection process to do a better job pic.twitter.com/3U2QfmQOlB— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) July 9, 2018
Blake Snell is the only pitcher in 17 years to lead the AL in ERA in the first half and not be an All-Star. The last player to accomplish this: Pedro Martinez.— Alex Fast (@AlexFast8) July 9, 2018
Blake Snell seems to be biggest ASG snub. Snell is a legitimate CY Young candidate behind Severino, Verlander and Kluber. Deserves to represent the #Rays along with the AL starting C, Wilson Ramos.— Michael Smith (@MSmithBlog) July 9, 2018
Despite leading AL with 2.09 ERA and ranking 2nd with 12 wins, #Rays Snell is not chosen for AL All-Star squad. Could be named as a replacement.— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) July 8, 2018
blake snell, al era leader (2.09) didn't make the all-star team? well then, there's something wrong with the system.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) July 9, 2018
And top ten in the AL in both versions of WAR. Snell absolutely belongs. https://t.co/QlAMT9aQmm— keithlaw (@keithlaw) July 9, 2018
No Blake Snell? Snub of the century— Brent Honeywell (@brent_honeywell) July 8, 2018
No Blake Snell?— Peter King (@peter_king) July 9, 2018
MLB’s gotta fix that.
When you find out Blake Snell didn’t make the All-Star game pic.twitter.com/016BoJDn9A— Dan Slaubaugh (@DanSlaubaugh) July 9, 2018
@snellzilla11 NO I KNOOOO THEY LYIN.... boy u better be on that all star team!!!!!— Odell Beckham Jr (@OBJ_3) July 8, 2018
Let’s the the Rays official blog break down all the reasons Snell should have made it, where they have embedded responses from more Rays players than above.
- T-2nd in Ws — 12
- 1st in AL ERA — 2.09
- 2nd in MLB ERA — 2.09
- T-3rd in Opp Avg. — .183
- T-3rd in Quality Starts — 14
- Has made 16 starts of 2 runs or fewer and 12 starts of 1 run or fewer, both the most in the majors.
What more could you want? They have even more reasons here.