The Astros have the most All-Stars on the roster this summer with six players.
The Astros won their 63rd game last night versus the Detroit Tigers, whom Justin Verlander played most of his career with. If you read Ben Reiter’s new book, Astroball, you would know why Verlander chose to come to Houston. Yes, they had a great chance of winning the World Series. Yes, he wanted to help Houston recover from Hurricane Harvey. The real reason was that a majority of the All-Stars play in Houston.
That last part is not true, but it seems like it. Last year, the Astros sent George Springer, Carlos Correa, Jose Altuve, Dallas Keuchel, Lance McCullers, and Chris Devenski to the 2017 All-Star game. The first three were voted in by the fans as starters, others were selected, while Devenski was later added. For a team that would later win the World Series behind strong pitching, only two starters made the All-Star team last year. That meant six Astros were All-Stars.
At the end of August, the Astros traded for a former All-Star, Cy Young Award winner, and MVP in Verlander. This trade led to the Astros winning the World Series behind a strong pitching rotation. However, it was nothing compared to what the 2018 rotation has done. Ironically enough, the names of the starting pitchers have changed this year.
When the All-Star rosters were announced on Sunday, fans were surprised that more Astros were not selected. Altuve was the only one voted in by the fans, but Springer, Verlander, Alex Bregman, and Gerrit Cole were selected. After those were announced, many people wondered why Charlie Morton, Collin McHugh, or Evan Gattis did not make the team.
With the weak options at the catcher spot in the AL, some were surprised that Gattis didn’t get the nod. The problem is that he’s not a catcher anymore. McHugh was having a great season as a full-time reliever. But Morton has an 11-2 record with a 2.96 ERA while striking out 146 hitters in 112 1/3 innings. Because every team must have a representative, the numbers didn’t work out for Morton. Stats from Baseball-Reference.
There was a chance.
But there was always a chance that Morton could join the squad due to an injury. That time arrived because Aroldis Chapman had a minor injury (knee) to keep him out of the game. Along with Blake Snell, Morton was added to the All-Star roster. This will be Morton’s first appearance All-Star appearance.
Before being added, via Adam Wexler, Morton was concerned because he thought this season was his best opportunity to make the All-Star team. He did his own research and realized that this is the best that he has pitched in his career before the All-Star break. Morton said his 2011 was the previous best. Now that he has made it, the 34-year-old pitcher was concerned that McHugh did not get added. That’s the type of person and teammate he is.