6 players who could still be 2021 All-Stars
Major League Baseball announced full rosters for the 2021 All-Star Game at Coors Field in Colorado on Sunday.
Both the American and National League teams are stacked, but some notable omissions could still wind up playing at the Midsummer Classic as either injury replacements or fill-ins for players choosing not to compete.
Here are six players who could get a last-minute call.
Yordan Alvarez, OF/DH, Astros
Alvarez appears to be the most likely candidate to replace injured Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout on the AL squad. The Astros slugger has been phenomenal this season, sitting seventh in the AL with a 149 wRC+. It was a bit surprising not to see Alvarez on the original list of All-Stars. Still, it was a tall task for him to make the team as a designated hitter over Shohei Ohtani, Nelson Cruz, and J.D. Martinez.
Tyler O'Neill, OF, Cardinals
O'Neill has been terrific for the Cardinals and would be a more than suitable replacement for Kyle Schwarber, who is inactive for the All-Star Game due to an injured hamstring. In fact, O'Neill owns a higher wRC+ and nearly identical xwOBA to Schwarber in 63 fewer plate appearances. A pitch that recently hit O'Neill on his right hand could jeopardize the Canadian's first All-Star appearance, but he certainly deserves to make the NL squad as a replacement if he's healthy enough to play.
Chris Bassitt, SP, Athletics
Bassitt may be one of baseball's most unheralded starters, which might be why he was left off the AL roster in the first place. The Athletics right-hander is second in his league in innings pitched, tied for second in wins, and ranks sixth in ERA. The AL needs a replacement for the injured Shane Bieber, and Bassitt is an ideal choice.
Aaron Civale, SP, Indians
Another candidate who could replace Bieber is his teammate Civale. The right-hander owns a .833 winning percentage, is tied for the major-league lead in wins, and ranks 10th among AL starters in ERA. The workhorse has also lasted more than five innings in all but one of his 15 starts, with seven of his outings going at least seven frames.
Freddy Peralta, SP, Brewers
The Brewers are sending two starters to the Midsummer Classic in Corbin Burnes and Brandon Woodruff. Peralta might end up being Milwaukee's third. The 25-year-old would be an excellent choice to fill in for Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom, who recently announced he'll likely pass on playing. Peralta has already struck out a career-high 129 hitters and the first half of the season isn't even over yet. The Dominican also ranks seventh in the NL in ERA, ninth in FIP, and 10th in fWAR.
Taijuan Walker, SP, Mets
The Mets will be without a representative if deGrom backs out, so there isn't a better replacement for him than Walker. The right-hander has lived up to the two-year, $20-million contract he received in the offseason by posting the seventh-best FIP and ninth-best ERA in the NL. Walker's seven wins are also tied with deGrom for the team lead, and opposing hitters are batting just .194 against him.