Despite having one of the best records in baseball, the Dodgers had several deserving players not make the 2021 NL All-Star team. Closer Kenley Jansen, third baseman Justin Turner, and starter Walker Buehler have All-Star caliber stats. Those three key players not making the Midsummer Classic could be beneficial for the entire Dodger club.
At times this season, the Dodgers have looked complacent. The Dodgers have lacked intensity and focus in the last two series against the Padres. In their four-game series against Miami this week, the Dodgers’ lackadaisical execution of fundamental baseball produced three losses.
For the last few years, the Dodgers have been fueled by coming up short in October. There’s no replicating that kind of drive. That kind of fire. The gold standard of a chip on the shoulder.
One thing that might come close is having three stars omitted from the All-Star roster. Stars that are performing at an All-Star level. Not starters (fan vote) nor reserves (player and commissioner office vote).
Kenley Jansen is third in saves (20) and voters historically love counting stats for relievers. He also owns a 1.27 ERA. Jansen didn’t make the All-Star team.
Turner has the second-highest OPS among third baseman in the majors (.886) and leads the position in batting average (.303). Turner didn’t make the All-Star team.
Walker Buehler owns the ninth-lowest ERA amongst NL starters (2.49). For the traditionalists, he’s sixth in wins (8). Buehler didn’t make the All-Star team.
Final All-Star Thoughts
All three Dodger All-Star snubs should, can, and will use it as motivation to continue to push themselves and this team. Past injuries, past losing streaks, and more importantly, past the Giants and the Padres.
Chris Taylor, Mookie Betts, and Maxy Muncy should be celebrated for their performances.
All-Star selections are great.
Now that would be even better.