Arguably, the best team in baseball should have more representatives in the MLB All-Star game than any other team, but their were numerous Pittsburgh Pirates who were deserving of the honor. On Saturday, Major League Baseball announced that Pedro Alvarez, Andrew McCutchen, Jeff Locke, and Jason Grilli would all be participating in this years All-Star game on Tuesday, July 16th at Citi Field.
The four Pittsburgh Pirates selected to participate in the game were the most since 1981.
It is easy to see why Alvarez, McCutchen, Locke, and Grilli were selected, each one is having a phenomenal season. However, the Pirates could argue that Starling Marte, Russell Martin, Mark Melancon, and Fransisco Liriano were all deserving as well. Each of the eight players have played key roles into the teams success this season, but not everyone was able to be selected.
Jeff Locke was the only managerial choice selected, getting the Giants and NL skipper Bruce Bochy’s nod.
“I was totally surprised,” Locke said. “And felt honored. It’s something they can’t take away from you. I’m excited to meet a lot of the other [NL] guys and to represent this club, which is the most important thing for me.”
Jeff Locke is having a fantastic season for the Pirates; he is 8-1 on the season with a 2.12 ERA. Currently, he is on an eight game winning streak and hasn’t suffered a loss since April. Locke has truly been the driving force for the Pirates’ rotation.
Andrew McCutchen was selected by fellow MLB players. With the the amazing season in 2012 and the start to this season, he has earned much-deserved respect from his peers.
McCutchen is not having the same lights-out year as last season, but he is still doing amazing things. He is batting .301 with 9 home runs, 45 RBIs, and 18 stolen bases. This will mark McCutchen’s third All-Star appearance in his young career.
Alvarez got his first ever nod thanks to his peers. Despite a slow start, Alvarez’s recent power surge helped earn him the appearance. Coming in to Saturday, Alvarez was third in the league in home runs. Alvarez’s homer against the Cubs on Saturday gave him 22 home runs on the season, 18 of which have came since May. He is batting .243 with 57 RBIs.
Then the final selection was Jason Grilli, who was also selected by his peers. He is making his first All-Star appearance. Grilli has found success in the later years of his career with Pittsburgh. The 36-year-old reliever was left off last years roster, but the his brilliant closing job could not be overlooked this year.
Grilli has 28 saves in 29 opportunities and has an ERA of 2.15.