Before the Houston Astros dropped game, 2-1, in their final game of their series with the Oakland A’s, Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve announced they will not be participating in the 2021 MLB All-Star Game. With Correa’s decision coming first, the shortstop will be staying at home with his pregnant wife, as Altuve will also be out citing a leg injury.
This leaves two open roster spots on the American League roster, as two infielders will most likely be the replacements. Yuli Gurriel and Yordan Alvarez have posted All-Star caliber numbers this season, but with Alvarez mainly a DH and an outfielder, Gurriel could stand as a replacement.
With two AL ASG roster spots open, could Yuli Gurriel make it in?
Correa told the media that he hopes Gurriel takes his spot, but it comes down to who Tampa Bay Rays’ manager Kevin Cash wants to select. Many fans have shown their displeasure with Correa and Altuve backing out, assuming they are hiding from the boos.
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It is evident that the two are dealing with their own personal situations, as they aren’t even starters. To make it better, they were selected by their fellow MLB players across the league, so there isn’t a sense of being scared to been around other players and fans when they have also done it all season.
While middle infielders make the most sense to be replacements, Gurriel is slashing .319/.385/.485 with 10 home runs. Three AL first baseman already stand on the roster, but Gurriel is fourth in AL batting average, sixth in AL OBP and 23rd in SLG, which looks to be hurting his resume.
Slugging is such a huge part of today’s game that Jared Walsh and Matt Olson are All-Stars over Gurriel. The 37-year-old is looking at possibly his only opportunity to take home the accolade, but players like JP Crawford and Whit Merrifield make sense as frontrunners, since there is now only one middle infielder in the reserves.
With Brooks Raley hitting the injured list due to health and safety protocols, Ralph Garza Jr. joined the big-league club again. The Astros open a three-game series with the New York Yankees on Friday at 7:10 p.m. with Jake Odorizzi off the rubber.