Baseball’s Midsummer classic is almost upon us, with the game taking place on July 15th. Today, rosters for the game were announced. The Tampa Bay Rays have just one representative in David Price, with the deserving Jake McGee being snubbed.
Price has had a decent, but not great season from an ERA standpoint, putting up a 3.50 mark. However, he has struck out 153 batters, which leads the league, while having walked just 17. Price is also second in innings pitched, throwing 131.0 innings, just 5.1 behind Felix Hernandez, who has had one more start than Price. Price has also been incredible since the beginning of June, posting a 2.12 ERA in his last 6 starts while never allowing more than 3 runs and never lasting less than 7.0 innings. He also had a streak in which he struck out 10 or more batters 5 times in a row. Price may have started off slow, but he has shown that he is one of the league’s best pitchers recently. He is deserving of the All-Star bid, and it is especially nice that he got the bid this year, as it could very well be his last chance to be an All-Star in a Rays uniform.
McGee, meanwhile, was more than deserving of the bid, but did not receive one. His 1.17 ERA leads AL relievers, and he has also put up an outstanding 10.3 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9. However, he was passed up for the likes of Sean Doolittle (2.83 ERA), Glen Perkins (3.22 ERA) and Dellin Betances (1.61 ERA). McGee’s main problem is that he isn’t the Rays closer. Both Doolittle and Perkins are their team’s closers, while Betances has gotten the benefit of hype from the New York media. Even more shocking was that McGee wasn’t even included among the 5 players that are a part of the final vote, where fans pick the last player for the roster. Of course, there inevitably will be pitchers that cannot participate in the All-Star game, and there is a small chance that could open up a spot for McGee. A future closer role is entirely possible for McGee, and with the way he has pitched this year Joe Maddon could very well name him closer before too long. But for now McGee is not the Rays closer, and that cost him a spot on the AL All-Star roster.
Having David Price on the All-Star roster is a great moment for Rays fans. However, it is bittersweet thanks to the fact that Jake McGee was left out. Be sure to tune in to Fox on July 15th to watch Price pitch in what always is a great event.