Monday, July 2, 2012

Nats (Unofficially) Have 3 All-Stars

Yesterday, the AL and NL All-Star teams were announced and three Washington Nationals were on the NL All-Star Team. Stephen Strasburg (below left), Gio Gonzalez (below right), and Ian Desmond (above) are all headed to Kansas City for the 2012 MLB All-Star game.

It really does not come as that big of a shock that these three were selected. Gonzalez and Strasburg have been going back and forth all season long for the NL lead in strikeouts and Ian Desmond has been consistently productive all season long.

Strasburg, who's just two years removed from Tommy Johns surgery, is having his best season yet. He's 9-3 with a 2.81 ERA with 122 strikeouts. He's got a WHIP of 1.22 and is reliable for 6-7 solid innings every time he takes the mound.

Gonzalez has been just as good. In his first season with the Nationals he is 11-3 with a 3.01 ERA and 112 strikeouts. He's got a 1.12 WHIP and, like Strasburg, goes a solid 6-7 innings every time he gets the nod. This is his second All-Star game.

Ian Desmond certainly picked up his game this season and, as a result, Tony La Russa picked him up as an NL reserve at shortstop. Desmond is batting .276 with 13 home runs and 43 RBI. He's been great defensively recording 98 putouts, 190 assists, and 38 double plays. He's got the highest zone rating of his career with 6.589.

The Nationals could potentially have four All-Stars. Bryce Harper is one of five players in the "Final Fan Vote" category. This means that the fans will decide which (only one) of five players from the AL and NL will head to Kansas City to be part of the All-Star game. Harper is seemingly going against one worthy opponent: Chipper Jones.

Either way the vote sways, Harper will certainly go to a few more All-Star games throughout his career.

The Nationals have already stated the Stephen Strasburg will be allowed to pitch in the All-Star game if he is on schedule to pitch that day. Also, it will not count against his 160 innings limit.

Be sure to tune in to the All-Star game on July 10th to cheer on Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez, Ian Desmond and, possibly, Bryce Harper.