It was announced on Sunday that the Los Angeles Dodgers would be sending four representatives to Minnesota for the 2014 MLB All-Star Game.
Yasiel Puig was voted a starter in the outfield, while Dee Gordon was named a reserve, and the duo of Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke will represent as pitchers. This marks the first time the team has sent at least four participants since the 2010 season.
Not included in the four is Josh Beckett.
Heading into the season, Beckett was likely not listed as a potential All-Star considering he was coming off surgery to remove a rib and missed all of the 2013 season minus eight starts. In those starts, the right-hander was 0-5 with a 5.19 ERA.
Beckett worked his way back and came into Spring Training as the favorite for the fifth spot in the Dodgers’ rotation, assuming he was healthy and could outperform Paul Maholm.
He missed some time at the start of the year with a thumb injury sustained after slamming the clubhouse door on it and made his first start of the season in unimpressive fashion on April 9. Facing the Detroit Tigers, Beckett managed to throw just four innings and allowed four runs.
Since that initial start, Beckett has put up All-Star caliber numbers, which begs the question: Was he snubbed of a roster spot in the All-Star Game?
Well, looking at the numbers and the other pitchers selected, it appears that the former All-Star pitcher was indeed snubbed. The first stat many will look at is Beckett’s win-loss record and by that account, he would not be worthy of a spot with his 6-5 record on the year.
However, the right-hander owns a 2.26 ERA in 17 starts, which is fourth in MLB and third in the National League. The only pitchers ahead of Beckett in the NL are Adam Wainwright and Johnny Cueto, although Kershaw could pass him up once he reaches the minimum for innings pitched to qualify.
Aside from ERA, Beckett ranks fifth in WHIP and third in opponents’ batting average. In his 17 starts, he has allowed just 26 earned runs while averaging at least six innings per start. He also ranks in the top-5 in opponents’ on-base percentage, OPS and hits allowed per nine innings.
The one thing Beckett lacks is strikeouts; he has 95 on the season, which is good for 18th in the league. In most major categories other than strikeouts, Beckett ranks ahead of All-Stars Jordan Zimmerman, Tyson Ross, Julio Teheran and Madison Bumgarner.
While those pitchers may carry a bit more weight in the league in terms of leading their rotation, you cannot fault Beckett for being the fourth-best pitcher on the team if you include Hyun-Jin Ryu. The 34-year-old is having his best season since 2011 and has given the Dodgers one of the best rotations in baseball.
Lost in the argument is the fact that Beckett does own one of the three no-hitters thrown thus far. His performance against the Philadelphia Phillies on the road further proves the fact that he has reinvented himself this season and is deserving of recognition. He could still make the team due to injury or availability in the next week, but his performance in the first half of the season has been nothing short of All-Star quality.
While Beckett is scheduled to pitch on Saturday and may not have been able to participate in the actual game, he did warrant a selection and the honor that comes with being an All-Star. For us at Dodgers Nation, Josh Beckett is our honorary All-Star.
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