The rosters for the 2018 MLB All-Star Game in Washington, D.C. were announced on Sunday night, and surprise, surprise: Trea Turner wasn't on them!
Typically, Nats fans spend tonight getting Mad Online about Anthony Rendon being continually overlooked.
While that's still the case this year, it's Turner who's more deserving of a spot.
And while there's a chance that Turner could find his way into the game through the final vote, Max Muncy of the Dodgers will almost certainly win that. Nats fans just aren't going to outvote Dodgers fans.
Turner's omission is pretty egregious. Everyone thinks their team's omissions are egregious but when you look at the stats, there's not a good reason why Turner isn't on the team.
The obvious starting point is looking at Turner's WAR. No shortstop in the N.L. has a better WAR than Turner, who's currently sitting at 3.2, almost a full run better than any shortstop in the NL. WAR does not paint the whole picture -- and there's a fair argument to be made about how heavily it should be leaned on -- but it's one of, if not the best all-encompassing stats that we have.
Here's a fun fact: Trea Turner is one of two players to lead his position in WAR and not be on the All-Star team. The Cubs' Kyle Schwarber is the other.
Of the NL shortstops, it's hard to look at the stats and come away with the idea that Trevor Story and Brandon Crawford both deserved spots over Turner. Here are all three's traditional statlines:
Crawford holds the edge in batting average, and Story slugging. If you were to look at these three numbers alone, his exclusion makes more sense (even though Story's power is bolstered at least in small part due to playing in Colorado).
Taking a deeper dive, however, shows just how badly Turner got snubbed.
Here are a few things that Turner leads both Story and Crawford in:
— Offensive WAR
— Defensive WAR
— Baserunning WAR
So, Turner has been more valuable at the plate, in the field, and on the basepaths than either Story or Crawford. He also strikes out less and draws more walks. That seems to paint a pretty clear picture, no?
It's also worth considering whether Turner's own teammates incidentally hurt his odds. Every MLB team needs at least one representative at the All-Star game, and the Nationals already had three in Max Scherzer, Bryce Harper and Sean Doolittle. While not unprecedented, it's hard to rationalize adding a 4th player from the same team under those rules. Once Harper announced that his HR Derby participation was tied to whether or not he made the All-Star team, his spot on the roster was set. MLB wasn't going to let the host city's marquee player miss out on taking part in the weeks' two marquee events.
Maybe Turner squeaks onto the roster thanks to the final vote. Maybe he doesn't. Either way, it's a shame that we're even here in the first place.
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