Seattle Mariners

Mariners have a glaring All-Star snub due to MLB’s Yankees pick

SEATTLE — The Seattle Mariners are sending Logan Gilbert to his first MLB All-Star Game, but there’s a glaring omission from the AL West leaders when it comes to the American League roster. Especially when you consider who was picked for the team instead.

Andrés Muñoz has been one of the best relievers in baseball this season. The fifth-year right-hander is 14 out of 16 in save opportunities, has six holds, and owns a 1.50 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and .175 opponent average. He also has 43 strikeouts to 14 walks in 36 innings, which all adds up to an impressive 1.7 fWAR.

Sounds like an All-Star, right?

Apparently MLB doesn’t think so. Not when compared to Clay Holmes, the closer for – of course – the New York Yankees, who instead is headed to the midsummer classic at Texas’ Globe Life Field. And for another “of course,” the choice of Holmes was made by MLB. Once the starters are picked by fan voting and some of the reserves and pitchers are picked by a player vote, MLB will fill out the rest of the rosters, with the main priority being that all 30 teams have at least one representative. So there’s your answer, right?

Wrong. The Yankees already had not one but two players on the roster: starting outfielders Aaron Judge and Juan Soto.

The choice of Holmes, who is now a two-time All-Star, only gets more puzzling the more you look at it. The 31-year-old righty has numbers that pale in comparison not only to Muñoz but to several other AL relievers. Sure, he has 19 saves, but he’s also blown five other opportunities. And his 3.00 ERA, 1.306 WHIP and .271 (!) opponent average are all worse than Baltimore’s Craig Kimbrel (2.10 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, .147 average), Boston’s Kenley Jansen (2.01, 1.05, .193) and the Angels’ Carlos Estévez (2.89, 0.82, .192), none of which are on the AL roster.

Heck, Holmes was even picked over a more deserving Yankee: Luke Weaver, who has a 2.65 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, .168 opponent average and 11 holds.

Alright, so it’s pretty obvious that MLB got it wrong by choosing Holmes. But which of those names was snubbed the most? The answer is clearly Muñoz based on his 1.7 fWAR, which is not only 1.2 higher than Holmes’ 0.5 – seriously MLB, that is just an egregious pick – but much better than Jansen (0.9), Kimbrel (1.0), Estévez (1.2) and Weaver (1.2), too.

The good news? The league can still right its wrong and pick Muñoz as a replacement. Hopefully he’s one of the first selections this week, but if it comes down to it, Gilbert is scheduled to start for the Mariners on Sunday, making it unlikely he would then pitch in the All-Star Game just two days later. Muñoz would make a lot of sense there to go to Texas and make sure the first-place M’s have a player actually get some playing time in the annual showcase.

Seattle Mariners and All-Star Game coverage

Muñoz and the Mariners (49-43) begin a six-game road trip to close out the first half of the season at 6:40 p.m. Tuesday in San Diego against the Padres (49-45), with radio coverage starting at 5:30 p.m. on Seattle Sports. For details on how to stream Mariners Radio Network broadcasts from Seattle Sports, click here.

The radio broadcasts of both the MLB All-Star Game (5 p.m. July 16) and Home Run Derby (5 p.m. July 15) will also air live on Seattle Sports.

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