Washington Nationals closer Sean Doolittle was placed on the 10-day DL with left toe inflammation. This news has little impact on the Milwaukee Brewers, but it could send Jeremy Jeffress to the All Star Game.
Sean Doolittle‘s toe injury appeared minor at first, but the team would rather have him sit out for a few days. With four days off for the All-Star break, Doolittle may only miss a few games. However, he won’t pitch in the All-Star Game, and that could open the door for Milwaukee Brewers reliever Jeremy Jeffress.
Is Jeffress worthy of inclusion?
He has a 1.02 ERA in 43 games. Jeffress has also racked up 46 strikeouts, and only walked 13. He has 12 holds, three saves, and six relief wins. His 1.2 WAR is almost double San Diego Padres closer Brad Hand’s 0.7 mark.
Yes, he’s worthy of inclusion.
Could anyone else go instead?
Yes. This is where it gets tricky for Jeffress. His 1.2 WAR is tied for eighth in the National League with Will Smith. That means that there are seven relievers who have a better half-season than Jeffress. Josh Hader and Doolittle are first and second. That leaves Adam Ottavino, Craig Stammen, Felipe Vazquez, Tony Watson, and Seranthony Dominguez ahead of Jeffress.
If the National League wants to recognize the strongest aspect of the team with the best record, Jeffress should get the nod. If they want to recognize a solid performer who was overlooked, the could look elsewhere.
Could Jeffress use a break?
Jeffress deserves recognition, but he could also use the time off. He’s appeared in almost half of the Milwaukee Brewers games to date. That’s a lot of throws, and that’s not counting warm up tosses and times when he gets up, but doesn’t come in.
Jeffress has gone from a possible DFA candidate to an invaluable member of the Milwaukee Brewers bullpen. He has proven that he’s among the elite relief pitchers in the National League with his near-1.00 ERA, and his strand rate of almost 95%. While it’s great to get a pat on the back for a job well done, Jeffress could probably use a few days off, too.