With AL and NL rosters announced on Sunday, fans got their first glimpse of which big-league stars earned All-Star honors midway through the season.
Most players use the All-Star break to rest up for a post-season push to end the season.
Three Guardians players, however, will not be getting any rest.
José Ramirez, Emmanuel Clase, and Andrés Giménez will represent Cleveland at the All-Star game in Los Angeles.
Only seven teams (Yankees – 6, Braves – 5, Astros – 5, Blue Jays – 4, Cardinals – 4, Dodgers – 4, Mets – 4) will send more All-Stars than the Guardians.
In fact, Cleveland is the only club sending three players, with a slew of teams sending two players.
If you asked most fans during preseason who the Guardians would send to the All-Star game, the same few names likely would have come up.
Ramirez would be an obvious answer, perhaps Shane Bieber, as well.
Maybe Triston McKenzie would have a breakout season?
But Giménez and Clase’s selections might not have been so readily apparent then.
That Cleveland is sending three All-Stars to Los Angeles is also a testament to how successful this season has been.
2022 was billed as rebuilding year for the Guardians, who have fielded the youngest lineup in baseball.
The White Sox and Twins were loaded with talent, and offseason additions like Carlos Correa only made them better.
And the Tigers also projected to have an exciting crop of young talent, headlined by Spencer Torkelson.
But instead, it’s Cleveland battling Minnesota for the AL Central, with the young players showing out.
And that trend is perfectly encapsulated in Giménez.
Needless to say, fans were stoked by Giménez’s inclusion in the All-Star game:
Congrats to Jose Ramirez, Andres Gimenez and Emmanuel Clase, who will represent the @CleGuardians in the All-Star game. Much deserved 👍
— Al Pawlowski (@AlPawlowski) July 10, 2022
Andres Gimenez being named an All Star was not something I had for my 2022 Cleveland Guardians bingo card. Well deserved though.
— Cole (@ColeLopez77) July 10, 2022
Andres Giminez made the All-Star Game as a Guardian before Frankie Lindor did as a Met.
— Mike Popovich (@mpopovichREP) July 10, 2022
— Jennifer Wolf (@jlw072) July 10, 2022
Three Guardians All-Stars:
When Terry Francona announced the honors this morning, he first only mentioned Ramírez & Clase. Then, he interrupted the team's celebration to reveal Giménez made it, too.
Giménez: "It really surprised me."
— Zack Meisel (@ZackMeisel) July 10, 2022
Perhaps during preseason, an All-Star nod to Giménez would be surprising.
But he shouldn’t be too shocked, given how well he’s performed this season.
Giménez is batting .299 this season, with 70 hits and 40 RBIs in 72 games.
Even during the club’s recent skid, he’s batting a respectable .280, with 14 hits in his last 15 starts.
In just about every category, this has been Giménez’s best season; his nine homers so far this year are more than his first two seasons combined (8).
Where Giménez gets dinged is his position, though it has nothing to do with his actual play.
No, Giménez’s issue is that he’s currently used at both second and shortstop.
But he’s played 55 games this season at second, and just 17 at short.
And against most other second basemen in the league, Giménez is up there with the best of them.
He’s batting better than all of the league’s everyday second basemen, including Jose Altuve (.282) and Santiago Espnial (.282).
His RBIs and hits are top-15 at his position, as well.
Clase is no slouch either.
He’s been one of the best closers in baseball this season, highlighted by an ERA of 1.53, 19 saves, and a save rate north of 90% (90.5%).
His save rate and ERA are second only to Josh Hader (min. 30 games), who also earned an All-Star nod in the NL.
And José Ramirez, though scuffling late, has been terrific for the Guardians as well.
Every year, the All-Star roster announcement is usually complemented by a list of “snubs.”
But this year, it’s hard to pick out anyone snubbed from the Guardians.
If Giménez hadn’t made the cut, he would certainly have qualified.
But other preseason candidates like Bieber (3.46 ERA) and McKenzie (3.48) don’t have the numbers this year.