Corey Kluber may still make the All-Star team as a “Final Vote” candidate, but the fact that the Tribe starter isn’t already on the team is hard to accept.
Kluber is 8-6 with with a 2.86 ERA in 19 starts. His earned run average is the 19th best mark in baseball, while his 137 strikeouts are the fourth highest total in the big leagues.
After another dominating Sunday win, Kluber’s WAR improved to 3.4–the third best in all of baseball. The game’s other top WAR leaders, Felix Hernandez (5.1), Jon Lester (3.7), Yu Darvish (3.3) and Masahiro Tanaka (3.2) were all named to the AL squad, while Adam Wainwright (3.1) was picked to represent the NL.
Granted, there’s a lot of strong starting pitching in the American League, but that doesn’t change the fact Kluber is the only WAR leader with a mark over 3.1 not to be named an All Star.
The Texan’s path to the Mid-Summer Classic is also compounded by four other pitchers appearing in the final vote. Chicago’s Chris Sale, Los Angeles’ Garrett Richards, Detroit’s Rick Porcello and Houston’s Dallas Kuechel are the other candidates.
If Kluber was named to the team, a current All-Star would be on the outside looking in. Mark Buehlre is having a great season (10-6, 70 K’s, 2.60 ERA, 2.0 WAR), but the case could be made that the Tribe starter deserves his spot. Alas, Buehrle got in through the player’s vote, so the guys actually playing the game probably had good reason for selecting the southpaw.
Tampa Bay Rays starter David Price was chosen by manager John Farrell. Price is having a decent season, even if not by Price standards. He’s 8-7 with a 3.48 ERA, 159 punch outs and a 2.8 WAR. Alas, the former first-round pick is Tampa’s lone representative.
According to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com, the Tribe locker room believes Kluber is an All-Star, but Terry Francona doesn’t want to hear complaining. Instead, the reigning Manager of the Year wants the city to take action.
“We all think Klubes is an All-Star pitcher this year,” Francona said. “But knowing the system and how it works and everything, I think rather than kind of gripe about it is, what we can maybe do as a city, is even though we’re not the biggest city, maybe jump on board and support Klubes, and find a way to get him on that team.
“I think that would be a phenomenal feat for us as a city to find a way to get him on that team, because I think his pitching deserves it. Now, it’s a chance for the fans to support it. That’d be pretty cool. We’re not the largest city, but if we show our support, that’d be really awesome.”