Changes to the All-Star Game starter selection process effective for 2019 mean that all starting position players are chosen in a final vote on a field of finalists who received the most fan votes during an initial “Primary” phase. No Blue Jays position players made it to the final round of fan voting. This means the Jays’ representative in the 2019 All-Star Game will likely be a pitcher once again. So, who is the most deserving pitcher?
The Jays have two pitchers who have been top performers this year, despite the team’s overall lack of success: SP Marcus Stroman and RP Ken Giles. Let’s take a look at their numbers.
Marcus Stroman, SP
ERA: 3.04 (145 ERA+)
Stroman leads Jays starters in most pitching stats, such as ERA, victories, WHIP, BAA and IP. While he has been the ace for Toronto, he has suffered from poor run support. Like last year’s Jays All-Star, SP J.A. Happ, it is expected he will not be wearing a Toronto uniform come July 31 since the team will likely be looking to deal him in exchange for more prospects rather than resign him to a new deal after his current contract expires at the end of the season.
Ken Giles, RP
ERA: 1.33 (335 ERA+)
Giles was acquired by the Jays from the Houston Astros in exchange for disgraced closer Roberto Osuna in 2018 thanks to a swollen ERA and run-ins with Houston manager A.J. Hinch. The change of scenery has done him good – he has put up stellar numbers, although his save opportunities have been limited. Giles is also a likely trade chip come July, depending on his status after returning from a stint on the 10-day IL for elbow inflammation earlier this month.
Who’s All-Star Material?
Stroman has a higher WAR total, but I think this owes mainly to his regular appearances as a part of the starting rotation. Giles has not received many save chances thanks to the Jays’ poor team pitching (Toronto is 5th in MLB in runs scored with 417 but 22nd in ERA with 4.87). However, from the point of view of ERA, ERA+ and WHIP, it is clear “Hundred Miles” Giles has performed at a much higher level and will be a very attractive closer option for teams looking to make a deep playoff run come October. Giles has also embraced Toronto and a role as a veteran leader on a young club, so I believe he is the most worthy candidate to represent the Blue Jays at the 2019 All-Star Game.
The 2019 MLB All-Star Game will be held at Progressive Field in Cleveland on July 9. The starting position players will be announced on Thursday, June 28 with full rosters disclosed on Sunday, June 30. Support the site by purchasing your tickets from SeatGeek!
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I grew up a Cubs fan in Northwest Illinois and became an avid follower of the team during the Sosa-McGwire home run chase. Now I am the #1 Cubs fan in Toronto, Canada. You can find me on Twitter @Troll_Hamels (personal) and @farnorthsider (blog).