Zack Wheeler, Aaron Nola, and Brad Hand snubbed in All-Star Game roster reveal
For the second year in a row, Zack Wheeler won’t be getting what he deserves in the All-Star Game.
The All-Star starting lineups, as elected by fans, were announced on Friday and Bryce Harper was the only Phillie, which was lovely and a deserved selection, despite the fact that he’s unable to participate. But it was assumed that at least one Phillies pitcher would make the cut. On Sunday, MLB revealed the pitching and reserve honorees, and Kyle Schwarber was the only Phillie to make the cut.
Wheeler isn’t the only Phillies pitcher getting snubbed. Aaron Nola and Seranthony Dominguez have also pitched their way into All-Star territory. Nola is fourth among NL pitchers in WAR, which puts him ahead of Milwaukee’s Corbin Burnes, who did make the All-Star roster. He also has a better WHIP than Joe Musgrove and Max Fried, two more All-Stars. The only other pitcher in the NL with more innings pitched is Sandy Alcantara, also an All-Star.
Dominguez, the comeback kid of the Phillies season, has a lower ERA than Edwin Diaz, Josh Hader, and David Bednar, and that’s over more games than Bednar, Hader, and Ryan Helsley. They’re all All-Stars, and he’s not.
But the most grievous insult is still to Wheeler, who has been snubbed in every possible way for over a year. Between the 2021 All-Star Game, the Cy Young, the All-MLB team, and now this year’s All-Star Game, it’s absolutely absurd. Everyone owes Wheeler an apology.
For those who say the game doesn’t count, so this shouldn’t be a big deal, I counter with the fact that this supposedly meaningless contest reflects upon a player when they negotiate in arbitration or free agency. One day, it might be used against them as one of the metrics when people discuss whether they should be a Hall of Famer. The All-Star Game might not count in the win or loss column, but being an All-Star absolutely means something.
At this point, I have to wonder what it will take for Wheeler to get the respect he’s earned. If it was just an ERA contest, then he’d be in over Max Fried. If it was about strikeouts, he has more than Fried, Musgrove, Tony Gonsolin, and Clayton Kershaw. If it was about bases on balls, he’s limited walks better than Alcantara, Burnes, and Gonsolin. Wheeler has thrown more innings than Gonsolin and Kershaw, and his five home runs allowed are tied with Kershaw for the fewest allowed by any of the aforementioned starters. And yet, all of the aforementioned pitchers are NL All-Stars this year, except Wheeler.
What does Wheeler have to do that he hasn’t already done? What can he do?