We already know that Marlins skipper Don Mattingly will be on the National League coaching staff for the 2017 All-Star game, representing Miami IN Miami, but what about his players?
With the latest (and last) All-Star voting update posted on MLB.com yesterday, we learned a couple of interesting things concerning who exactly amongst the Fish will get to swim at Marlins Park in the All-Star game on July 11th.
For one thing, it is a certainty that, though worthy in their respective position categories, neither Justin Bour nor JT Realmuto will make the roster via the fan vote (though they are certainly contenders for the player, manager, and last chance vote, and may very well find themselves in as injury replacements). Justin Bour is having himself what many consider a breakout season, slashing .293/.365/.572 with 18 home runs and 50 runs driven in, while Realmuto is on pace to match his 3.2 fWAR campaign from last year, all while walking more (BB% up 2.6 percentage points) and striking out less (K% down 1.8 percentage points).
Both are worthy choices, but Bour is in a crowded field at first base in the National League and Realmuto doesn’t have the name recognition to contend with some of his colleagues, so if I had to wager a guess, I would lean toward neither of them making it.
We also learned that Giancarlo Stanton had racked up 1,069,313 votes in the latest released numbers, good enough for sixth place in the NL outfield bracket. With fan voting ending Thursday night at 11:59 pm ET, the top two spots are locked in by Bryce Harper and Charlie Blackmon who have double the votes of the others contenders.
The third starting spot is presently being held down by Marcell Ozuna (1,270,464), who moved past two Cubbie contenders, Jason Heyward (1,241,294) and Ben Zobrist (1,122,946) after being rightfully recognized as deserving (checking in with a robust 145 wRC+).
So, if the vote holds, Marcell Ozuna would be the only Marlin voted in by the fans, and one might suspect that Stanton would be relegated to defending his Home Run Derby title, but there’s a wrinkle.
Even if the Cubs players manage to zip ahead and block both Stanton and Ozuna from slipping in via fan vote, both Heyward and Zobrist are currently on the 10-day DL and National League/Cubs manager Joe Maddon will likely opt to keep them out of the game. That, combined with their very likely inclusion via the player/manager vote, all but assures us that we’ll be seeing two out of three Marlins starting outfielders patrolling the greens in Miami.
It feels right.