Is Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig an All-Star? This seems to be the question of the day.
Puig was not voted onto the National League All-Star team by the fans, the players, or as one of San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy’s manager’s picks. This means that he can only be named to the team as a result of the All-Star Game Final Vote. The deadline is Thursday at 4 PM.
Entering games on Tuesday, Puig had only played in 33 games. In 33 games, what he has done is outstanding to say the least. In 140 plate appearances, he has 132 official at bats. Of the 132 official at bats, Puig has an astonishing 54 hits for a .409 batting average. This includes 8 doubles, 8 home runs, and 19 RBI. The 8 other plate appearances consisted of 5 walks, 2 hit by pitches, and one intentional walk.
Until Puig was called up, the Dodgers were struggling. There was talk that manager Don Mattingly might be losing his job. It hasn’t happened but that’s beside the point.
Is Puig a player that fans want to see playing in the All-Star Game? According to the fan vote totals that were released on Tuesday morning, Atlanta Braves first baseman Freedie Freeman leads in the National League while Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Steve Delabar leads in the American League.
Entering games played on Tuesday, Freeman was hitting .305 with 9 home runs and 56 RBI.
Interestingly enough, the Braves and Blue Jays are partnering with each other to send Freeman and Delabar to the game.
St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter was asked his thoughts on Puig. He told USA Today baseball columnist Bob Nightengale:
“I can see both sides, so I don’t get aggravated about it. There’s no question a young guy like that brings excitement to the game. But does three good weeks or a month make you an All-Star? Does that mean you’re deserving to be an All-Star? No.”
“There are too many guys that are grinding it out, putting up numbers all year that deserve to be there more than a guy that’s come up and hasn’t really been around the league,” Carpenter added.
Carpenter isn’t alone.
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny believes that the game “should represent guys who have had a strong full season.”