The Cincinnati Reds are in first place in the National League’s Central division, but they are only going to have one player donning their jersey in the All-Star game next week. That player will be closer Alexis Diaz.

When it comes to fan voting, it’s going to be tough to have a Reds player beat out someone. There just aren’t as many Reds fans as there are Cubs or Dodger or Braves fans. A player from Cincinnati is going to have to clearly be better than the others at their position, and probably by a wide margin to be voted into the game by fans. Pitchers, though, aren’t voted on by fans. Neither are the reserve position players.

While you could make an argument that several of Cincinnati’s position players should have made the team, you can also understand why they didn’t. Matt McLain has been outstanding, but he didn’t get called up until the middle of May. TJ Friedl and Spencer Steer have both been with the team all season and have put up strong numbers along the way. Outfield is a deep position. Steer’s moving around could have both helped or hurt him. He doesn’t stand out at one position, but given he can play all over the place can’t be a negative, either.

One place there was no argument, though, was with Alexis Diaz. He’s 23-for-24 in save opportunities this season for the Reds. He’s got a 3-1 record. In his 37.0 innings he’s allowed just 19 hits, just one home run, and he’s struck out 58 batters. He’s been about as good as a reliever can be, and it’s coming on the back of a season that may have been even better, just without the number of saves. If for some reason Cincinnati is only going to have one player on the team, Diaz is clearly the best option when compared to his positional peers.

You can see the full All-Star game rosters here.

52 Responses

  1. JB WV

    All good points except that McClain was called up in May. Still a relatively small sample size

    • Jason Franklin

      You knew what Doug meant. Remember, he is the main man running this show with a very small crew of volunteers to assist.

      Anyway, you would think with the popularity of “America’s Team,” MLB would have liked to have added a Red to something like the Home Run Derby. Steer has hit some blasts that would have been nice to see in the limelight.

      • Jon

        I believe only three of the eight derby participants have been announced. Still could happen. Would be great if Votto tried to do it like Pujols did last year.

      • JB WV

        Take it easy. Someone was going to point it out so I thought I’d get it over with quickly.

      • Todd Wilson

        My opinion and that’s like everything else everyone has one
        But there is a reason that we could say that 4 players should be in the all-star game. Some are only sample sizes. But those sample sizes together have taken a sub 400 team into first place and just won their last three series against what I would assume are playoff teams (padres are the outlier and should be the best roster in baseball) nonetheless I would rather resting for a fall Run. Than bragging that we had fun in July

    • Todd Wilson

      My opinion and that’s like everything else everyone has one

  2. Jon

    Thought we’d see Votto announced as a commissioner’s legacy selection like Pujols and Cabrera were last year. Wonder if that announcement comes later or if there are none this year.

  3. Optimist

    I’m still beating the drum for Friedl – getting shortchanged by the stat qualification rules. Ignorant fans are understandable but media and baseball staff don’t have that excuse.

    It’s close between TJ and Steer, but I’ll give the edge to TJs unique skills.

    • Jason Franklin

      You could argue that Steer has been the Reds overall best player this first half. He has done a fantastic job with hitting and playing wherever Bell placed him. I think he has really outperformed what the ‘experts’ were assuming from him.

  4. Tomn

    It sucks. McLain, Steer and Friedl are all deserving. The Reds have over-performed and that’s mostly because Friedl, McLain and Steer have outperformed anyone’s expectations. I undetstand that the numbers of fans in other cities outnumber Reds fans, but it sucks to have fans vote decide the starters. If the mlb ALWAYS want the teams to reflect higher population cities, then discard the voting completely and apportion all star teams strictly according to approximate size of the fan base. That would be ludicrous of course but so is the present system. Have active players pick the teams. That would likely yield a more accurate and fair reflection of performance.

    • Chris

      Two years ago the fans voted two of the three outfielders from the Reds. Not sure blaming the fans is fair. In fact, you can look at the NL and AL teams and this year, even more than most, they got it almost right.

  5. Jon

    Four former Reds pitchers on the AL roster- including Michael Lorenzen.

    J. Gray on the NL roster.

      • jon

        wash. pitcher Gray is on all star team former red.

      • Oldtimer

        Never played for Reds. Played one summer as Reds minor leaguer at Rookie League level.

      • Kevin H

        Gray a former Reds prospect . In my a opinion a former red

    • RedBB

      Lorenzon with an ERA north of 4.00. Guessing Rodriguez declined from the Tigers? Been thinking of him as a trade target. What would it take? Stoudt and Dunn too much?

      nm he is injured

      • Oldtimer

        Stoudt and Dunn won’t bring much in return.

  6. Soto

    It’s disappointing but not surprising. The fan vote is basically a popularity contest with the larger market holding a big advantage. The subs often go to more veteran players. The young Reds have played great but have either spent time on the DL or got called up late. I thought Friedl was the one that would get the call. Oh well… Rest up Boys and come back stronger than ever. But in the mean time, the Reds need to finish strong. I would love to see them finish in first going into the break. That would definitely be a story worthy of some headlines. “First Place America’s Team snubbed in All-Star Roster.”

    • MK

      Most of the guys who made the team are guys I voted for. Did not vote for McLain because Arcia has great numbers and has been there the whole season. I voted for Friedl and Steer from Reds as I didn’t think the others deserved it.

      The year Bench and Yaz retired in ’84 I think, they were not voted in, but the Commissioner added them as a lifetime achievement award. Thought they might do the same for Cabrera and Votto.

  7. LT

    Unless players have salary incentive in their contracts, which I double for that the Reds youngsters have it, they rather stay off of all-star activities and just rest. Use the time off the get away from baseball and rest.

    • Votto4life

      Yeah, it’s a shame though because unless each team was guaranteed a slot, I really doubt if Alex Diaz would have been selected either. Baseball is all about the big markets, it’s always has been.

      I hope Diaz doesn’t pitch in the game. In fact, I doubt I will even watch it this year.

  8. RedlegScott

    Any chance Abbott could make it? Every start has been high quality, and he has great numbers.

    • RedlegScott

      (Oh, I guess it’s too late. Sure wish he’d made it. Dude’s been awesome!)

  9. Seth

    It’s hard to understand why teams that are worse than us (Cubs) have more all-stars than us we still have 1st place and have held on to it but hopefully this can motivate them to prove everyone wrong that they deserve to be all-stars and that the Reds truly are “America’s team”

  10. CFD3000

    Friedl, McLain, Steer and Abbott all playing well enough to be All Stars, but it’s largely a popularity contest so 8 Braves, 1 Red. But I’ll take the days off and hope everyone gets a chance to rest and recover from the grind of half a season.

  11. LT

    The Nats have an All-star SP, 3.3 ERA. I let my imagination run wild here 🙂

  12. Mark Moore

    Happy for him, but I wish he’d pass and rest instead.

    • Jimbo44CN

      Me too. Let him rest. Who gives a crap about a popularity contest. We get no national respect and that’s just fine with me. We just beat the billionaires 2 out of three and are in first place. Take that into the second half and use it to get into the playoffs. Anything can happen then.

    • MK

      If he does they will just pick another National, if not a pitcher a position player.

  13. Jimbo44CN

    Arcia better than McClain? no frickin way. Period

  14. Rick

    I hope Diaz doesn’t get used or even warmed up. Rest up young man. They can use Tomas Vera though:)

  15. MBS

    I’m the only one it seems who’s happy our guys are going to get some rest. There were guys like Friedl, and Steer who could have made it, but I bet a nice run into the playoffs will be a better reward for these kids.

    • BK

      I’m glad they will get rest, too. Allstar game has always favored more established names. Hope this puts another chip on a couple of our guys shoulders … not that they need any motivation.

  16. Redsvol

    to your headline, Doug……..Good! Our guys could use the rest. The MLB all star game is silly.

  17. TR

    The All Star game? Winning in the regular season is all that counts.

  18. MK

    HR Derby messes up a lot of guys, especially not big home run hitters, they need to keep our guys away from it.

    If you check Todd Fraziers career, he never hit as well for average after he started doing the Derbys.

  19. Melvin

    I’m happy for any of our guys that make the all star team but honestly I don’t want any of them participating. The whole thing has become crazy and players come back drained needing a rest. I hope Diaz doesn’t pitch at all and I’m glad the rest are taking a break. I’m sure any of our guys, if they had a choice would choose making the playoffs over making the all star team.

  20. RedBB

    Diaz is definitely suffering from Arm fatigue IMO. Hope they don’t play him.

  21. CFD3000

    I just read a bunch of the “snubs” articles – CBS, Fox, USA Today, ESPN and a couple more – and there’s plenty of love for Spencer Steer and Matt McLain. Elly De La Cruz also gets mentioned as someone with star power that would attract and excite new and occasional fans. He’ll likely make plenty of teams based on performance in years to come. TJ Friedl got only a couple mentions – snubbed even by the snubs articles! – but not a single mention for Andrew Abbott. In the end the rest is more important than the recognition, but it’s exciting that there are five or six young Reds who are playing at all star levels.

  22. TR

    In reality what is the All Star game for any of the major pro sports? Just a big show for the so-called best. As usual the big winner is money from advertising, and those not playing have an extended period to rest up from the pressure and travel.

  23. Doc

    Until baseball goes to something in which a city’s votes have the same impact as another city’s votes, I don’t even watch the All Star game. The voting system is an affront to small market teams and fans. People getting to vote multiple times, if that is still happening, makes it worse for small market teams. Reading a good book is more valuable than spending hours watching a meaningless celebrity baseball game.

    I hope no Red is in the home run derby. Not too favorably impressed with how they have done after coming back from participating in that event.

  24. Steve Schoenbaechler

    Dang, only Diaz? I though McLain, Friedl, and Fraley may get some consideration. AA would have if he had been up here long enough.

    Not Elly. He hasn’t been up here long enough. And, though we’ve seen flashes, we’ve also seen flashes of Aquino. Where is he now?

    Elly needs to make some adjustments. That’s the name of the game at this level, adjustments. If you want to survive, you make them. Then the other team will adjust back. Then you adjust back in turn. And so on. Elly will probably have plenty of opportunities at the AS game. Just not this year.

  25. jmb

    Only one Red in the ASG? That’s okay. They may not believe, but they will.

  26. Seth

    It’s very hard to understand how a team that is holding on to first place so well and has a lot more player’s other than Diaz that deserves to be All-Stars and teams like the cubs have more All-Stars than we do and probably won’t make the playoffs. But at least our boys can get some rest and come back even stronger and prove that they should have been All-Stars.

  27. Nick in NKY

    I know the Mid Summer Classic is a tradition, but is it maybe time to reconsider the whole event? Pardon my heresy, but I could see experimenting with having an All Star game at the beginning of the season, with players who were selected after the complete previous season. A whole season’s worth of play tells the fans a lot more than a pitcher or hitter who is hot for the right 6 weeks, then fades. It also allows for more time to see callups like McLain and EDLC. This could also make more sense for having career selections. You could have a Votto-type play in the ASG even if you know his career was over, and he wasn’t going to play that season. I don’t know, just kinda thinking through different ideas.

    • Melvin

      “but I could see experimenting with having an All Star game at the beginning of the season, with players who were selected after the complete previous season”

      Sounds wise. Works better for everyone.

  28. Lem

    8 Braves? They’re a great team, yes, one of the best this year. One of the signal tell-tales from the recent Braves series was that afterwards in interviews with Snitker and some other Braves, they were quite stressed out over what the Reds delivered to them – all they could handle – and expressed relief that they were leaving town. Yet none of the Reds excelling line-up merited an All Star nod. Um humm….that response from the Braves’ll have to be enough gratification for now. Also motivation for the boys, not getting an ounce of recognition, we’ll just take that chip on the shoulder and keep rolling.