Oh, but 'This time it counts' you say? Well then the NL should put their best players out there, and Pitching Jesus is without a doubt one of the best pitchers the in the league. Charlie Manuel said:
"He got quite a bit of consideration. He is going be an All-Star for a long time. What does he have, five starts? I just felt there are other guys who have started 18 to 20 games. I just felt, 'leave him alone and let him get used to the major league level."
'Get used to the major league level?!?' Strasburg has been an absolute force thusfar, on par with the best pitchers in the league; it is safe to say he is doing just fine at adjusting to the major league level. At least that is very sporting of Mr. Manuel to be so concerned about the development of a division rival's star talent.
The 'hasn't pitched enough games' argument is greatly hindered by the fact that Omar Infante made the NL team as a Manager's selection. Infante has only playing in 57 of this team's 82 games thusfar and does not qualify for league leaderboards. Most healthy starters have pitched 17 games, but Infante's games played % gives that his equivalent would be a SP with only 11 or 12 starts.
Those are just the general points as to why Strasburg should be on the team, and don't even address the fact that Matt Capps was picked over him. Going by VORP, Capps has been the 11th best pitcher on the Nationals, and they are trying to tell me he should be an All-Star over Pitching Jesus? Just amongst Nationals relievers, Tyler Clippard is significantly more deserving. Clippard as the Nats representative I could at least swallow a little easier than Capps, but the bigger injustice is Josh Willingham. Based purely on performance, Willingham should be starting in this game; he is 6th in the NL in VORP, and 1st amongst outfielders. If you are going to pass over the most marketable and possibly best pitcher in the league by the All-Star break for only having 6 starts, at least get the guy you pick over him right. I understand Ryan Zimmerman is stuck behind 2 guys having great seasons at 3B, but the Nats have 2 better and more sensible candidates than Capps, excluding Strasburg.
Keith Law called Manuel's selections 'comically bad', and I have to agree. The Strasburg omission is outrageous. Manuel deserves to lose the All-Star game and then lose the World Series in game 7 in an AL park, now that would be some sweet justice.
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