At the beginning of last week the Los Angeles Dodgers found out they had four players named to the National League All-Star team. A couple days later they found out that Joc Pederson would be participating in the Home Run Derby. On Sunday they found out that Clayton Kershaw would be joining the other four Dodgers in Cincinnati for the All-Star Game, and that Pederson would be in the starting lineup.
Now the Dodgers have learned of another accolade for one of their All-Stars, as Zack Greinke has been named the starting pitcher for the NL team.
The right-hander was considered one of the favorites to start the game, and become a clear-cut favorite when Max Scherzer pitched on Sunday, taking him out of the running. Greinke leads the entire MLB with a 1.39 ERA at the break, becoming the first pitcher with a sub-1.40 ERA at the break since 1981. Overall, the 31-year-old is 8-2 in 18 starts (123.1 innings) with 106 strikeouts.
Greinke becomes the first Dodgers pitcher to start the All-Star Game since Brad Penny in 2006. Kershaw has been considered the past two seasons, but was ultimately skipped over for other pitchers.
For Greinke, the All-Star Game start just adds another notch to his belt and another bullet point in a potential contract negotiation this winter should he opt out of his contract with the Dodgers. After this season, he would have three years and $77 million left on his deal, but he can opt out of that and try to get a bigger contract. If he continues to pitch this way, he could be setting himself up for a huge payday.
Regardless of that situation, Greinke will give the Dodgers two starters in the All-Star Game for the first time since 1995, and they will be well represented this year in Cincinnati.