The 2021 MLB All-Star Game starters have been announced and as expected, the Cleveland Indians don’t have anyone among the group.
We knew this was coming because Jose Ramirez didn’t even make it to the final round of fan voting.
That in itself is a bit surprising, but Indians fans know larger markets often get more support in the votes.
At one point in time it seemed like the team could have Ramirez starting and Shane Bieber opening the game for the American League side.
But an injury to the latter has ruined that dream this year.
We do know the Indians have to have someone represent the team at the event in Colorado.
So who could that be?
🌟 HERE ARE YOUR MLB ALL-STAR STARTERS 🌟 pic.twitter.com/khc5XCb08X
— ESPN (@espn) July 2, 2021
The Obvious Name
Ramirez remains the likely candidate to represent the Indians in Denver.
His WAR should be at 3.0 by next week and his lack of support in fan voting means nothing, if we are being honest.
We are talking about a perennial MVP candidate who is on his usual pace in 2021.
Ramirez has 18 home runs, 50 RBI, and an .882 OPS.
Shohei Ohtani looks like the obvious choice for American League MVP right now.
But his two-way dominance does not mean Ramirez cannot once again be a finalist.
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) June 29, 2021
Given his WAR value and overall value to the team, there is no reason why the third baseman should be left off the All-Star Game roster or anyone’s MVP ballot.
Pitchers Seeking Recognition
Bieber still stands to receive a spot, even if he cannot pitch or attend the game.
He has made 14 starts this season and has a 3.28 ERA with 130 strikeouts.
Bieber has not pitched since June 13 and he still leads the AL in strikeouts.
The ace was on a historic pace and receiving an All-Star nod should be a no-brainer.
After Bieber, Aaron Civale is someone who also has a case.
However, it would be unlikely for two injured Indians pitchers to make it in.
Civale still leads the AL in wins with 10 even though he is out with a finger injury of his own.
While he lacked the flashy strikeout numbers like Bieber, the team just won with him on the mound.
He also managed to post a 2.8 WAR in his 15 starts.
Karinchak is a reliever and is tied for third on the staff with 59 strikeouts.
His K/9 is a whopping 15.3 and he also has nine saves on the year.
Clase leads the way with 11 saves and has a respectable K/9 of 9.9 himself.
His triple-digit heat also makes him a fun option to have on the AL side.
Clase’s advantage is having a 1.10 ERA, compared to Karinchak’s mark of 2.60.
The Indians will have one player in the All-Star Game in Ramirez, barring something truly unexpected.
After that, we will wait to see how much respect the pitching staff gets.