Major League Baseball dropped the full All-Star Game roster for the game to be played a week from Tuesday at T-Mobile Park. Camilo Doval is the lone member of the San Francisco Giants to make the cut.
This is fantastic news for the Doval, who has been one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball this season and represented his country as part of the World Baseball Classic, too. Gabe Kapler, not having many players to break this cool news to, engaged in a bit of theatricality to inform his All-Star closer:
Camilo Doval said he was called into Gabe Kapler’s office to talk about holding runners better. Then surprised him with the news that he’s an All-Star. Doval called it a double dream to be an All-Star and also represent the Dominican in the WBC.— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) July 2, 2023
Through 82 games this season, Doval has been one of the top 15 relievers in baseball (1.0 fWAR) and leads the National League in saves with 24. It’s also true that his cutter mph average of 100.2 leads all pitchers in that category. His 1.89 ERA / 2.91 FIP with a 1.05 WHIP and 12.6 K/9 are better than his final line from last season, too: 2.53 ERA / 2.98 FIP with a 1.24 WHIP and 10.6 K/9.
He has been reliably dominant for the most of the season, but he — like the rest of the Giants’ roster — got a big boost from the calendar flipping from April to May. He ended the first month of the season with a 3.27 ERA, a pair of losses, and a blown save that led to a loss in 11 IP. Since then? A 1.33 ERA, a 1-0 record, 1 blown save, 21 saves in 27 games (the Giants are 25-2) with a 38-11 K-BB.
A worthy All-Star rostering and a worthy lone representative of the San Francisco Giants. I know there are many people on this site who like and appreciate that the rest of the Giants were deemed unworthy of an All-Star spot because it means they get to rest during the break. I guess because this same group of fans think the Giants need to rest up for a second half playoff push, which, whatever, because they’re not winning the World Series this year.
I’m thinking about how these roster decisions impact player pay both in the current season and the future. It’s a solid honor to have on a player’s resume when they hang it up, too. I’ll concede that LaMonte Wade Jr.’s 144 wRC+, 8th-best in the NL, doesn’t make him a strong enough candidate as a backup to Pete Alonso or whoever, and that he especially will benefit from extended rest. I’ll even concede that since the top third baseman in the NL by fWAR — Jeimer Candelario — the second-best, J.D. Davis, doesn’t deserve a spot either. There’s also the small issue of just who these guys would replace. I think that’s a fair counterargument.
Still, I’m conceding those guys who are still very worthy candidates because I want to spotlight the snub of Thairo Estrada. His 2.6 fWAR is the 10th-best in the National League. He’s the top second baseman in the National League. I get it, I get it. He didn’t get the votes! Luis .400rraez and Ozzie Albies simply did it at the ballot box. Every team is supposed to have a representative.
I still don’t see how it makes sense that the 10th-best player in the NL isn’t on the All-Star roster, and I’m sure he’ll be the first replacement player named if it comes to that, but as rare as it is for the Giants to win the World Series, it’s rarer still for them to have top 10 position players. So, I’m going to point it out until it stops seeming unusual or is rectified through injury replacement.
The idea that it’s “okay” for him not to be on the roster is just bizarre. I’ll grant you that he’s hit into three crushing double plays in the last two games against the Mets, but the Giants do have all-star position player talent on the roster. Not enough to make noise west of the Mississippi so, as I said a week and a half ago, “I guess most of the country won’t find that out until the Giants take down their favorite team later in the summer or fall.”
That said, Camilo Doval will have a chance to show the country what he’s all about and that will be very cool. I’m already looking forward to a mic’d up player or post-game comment about his nasty cutter. Yes, I see the wisdom of punting the present for a 2% improvement in future odds of success, but sometimes I just want to see good baseball players grip it and rip it.