Astros’ 2018 All-Stars announced; big names heading to Washington D.C.
By Cody Poage
For the first time in the Astros’ history, the five players from Houston heading to the All-Star Game will be representing the defending World Series champion.
Last season, the Astros sent six players to the All-Star Game in Miami. Fast forward nearly a full calendar year, and the Astros will be sending five players to the All-Star Game in Washington D.C.
2B Jose Altuve
3B Alex Bregman
OF George Springer
RHP Justin Verlander
RHP Gerrit Cole
Over the course of two seasons, the Astros have sent eleven players to the Mid-Summer Classic. To put that number into the proper perspective, Houston only sent eleven players to the All-Star Game from 2009-16. Out of those eleven times, Altuve and Hunter Pence, a former Astro, combined for six of those appearances.
The 2018 All-Star Game will be Altuve’s sixth appearance, who also led baseball in total fan votes. Springer will be making his second appearance in the All-Star Game as Bregman earns his first trip to the Mid-Summer Classic. Cole and Verlander will be making their first appearances in the All-Star Game as Astros. Cole was a 2015 All-Star when he played for the Pirates, and Verlander’s last appearance came in 2013 when he was with the Tigers. This is also Verlander’s seventh time to the All-Star Game, even though he won’t pitch during the actual game this year.
Interestingly enough, a case could’ve been made for numerous Astros on the roster. 2017 All-Star Chris Devenski (1.78 ERA in 35 1/3 innings) would’ve been a good choice. Charlie Morton (2.83 ERA in 108 innings) may be viewed as a missed opportunity. Or how about Hector Rondon (1.39 ERA in 32 1/3 innings) as a choice? And don’t forget about Collin McHugh (0.86 ERA in 42 innings).
Of the five selected, Houston has to be pleased with the choices.
Altuve, the 2017 AL MVP, currently leads baseball with 122 total hits. Despite a recent swoon, Springer has 16 home runs and provides incredible value to the top of the Astros’ lineup. Bregman has been one of the best third baseman in the American League with a 3.8 fWAR, which only trails the Indians’ Jose Ramirez (5.7 fWAR). He is also the first Houston third baseman to be named an All-Star since Morgan Ensberg in 2005. Cole and Verlander are two of the top six starting pitchers in baseball by fWAR. Both pitchers are also key reasons why the starting rotation currently ranks as the best in baseball.
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Congrats to all five of the Astros heading to Washington D.C.! While it would’ve been nice to see more Astros heading to the Mid-Summer Classic, it is still a nice showing from the defending World Series champions.