Last weekend, MLB announced each team’s representatives for the 2021 All-Star game that takes place Tuesday, July 13th. The announcement saw three very well-qualified Milwaukee Brewers added to the National League roster.
Brewers starting pitchers Brandon Woodruff and Corbin Burnes, as well as closer Josh Hader, were named to the pitching staff for the National League All-Star team. Anyone looking at the trio’s 2021 numbers would have a hard time arguing against the choice.
Woodruff (3.0, 7th) and Burnes (4.2, 3rd), the vaunted 1-2 punch in the Milwaukee starting rotation, each sit in the top 10 in MLB in fWAR on the season. They both have sub-2.50 ERAs, K/9’s over 10.0, and should both end the season firmly in the NL Cy Young discussion.
Meanwhile, Hader is having the best season of his career. While his 21 saves sit second in the NL and third in MLB, he leads all MLB relievers with a 1.9 fWAR, is 2nd among qualified MLB relievers with a 0.78 ERA, and is 4th with a 15.32 K/9.
In a perfect world, though, a fourth Brewers pitcher would be joining those three. Starter Freddy Peralta is having a breakout season in 2021 and he has comparable numbers to his All-Star teammates with his own sub-2.50 ERA (2.27) and 10.0+ K/9 (12.16).
And though his 2.4 fWAR is lower than Woodruff’s and Burnes’, it sits in the same range of other All-Star pitchers such as German Marquez, Lance Lynn, and Shane Bieber. But as we predicted earlier this year, there just wasn’t room for Peralta on the All-Star roster.
Still, might MLB fix this snub and end up finding a way to place Brewers starter Freddy Peralta in the All-Star game?
Every year, All-Star replacements end up getting named to the roster just days before the game. The most common reasons for this are replacements due to injury and once due to starters pitching the Sunday before the All-Star game.
The Brewers actually find themselves in the latter position. Woodruff is currently slated to start Milwaukee’s final game before the All-Star break against the Cincinnati Reds on Sunday. Because of that, he will likely be replaced on the roster.
So why not reward the Brewers by replacing one All-Star worthy starter with another? Milwaukee currently sits atop the NL Central with a seven-game lead over the Reds and has the third best record in all the National League. That deserves heavy representation in the midsummer classic.
About the only other starter I could see having an argument for a replacement spot on the roster is Max Scherzer of the Nationals. His 2.5 fWAR is just a notch above Peralta’s and he has his own solid numbers in a 2.66 ERA and a 12.31 K/9.
Luckily, he may have his own path to the All-Star game. That’s because Kevin Gausman, an All-Star for the San Francisco Giants, is also scheduled to start a game on Sunday, meaning he will likely sit out the All-Star game as well.
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This weekend, MLB should do the right thing. Name Freddy Peralta as a replacement for the NL All-Star roster!