Dodgers: All-Star Game Format Works Against Wood and Turner

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 04: A group of loyal Los Angeles Dodgers fans known as Pantone 294 volunteering to vote for 24 consequitive hours to get Justin Turner
LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 04: A group of loyal Los Angeles Dodgers fans known as Pantone 294 volunteering to vote for 24 consequitive hours to get Justin Turner /

As a fan who has an outlet to voice an opinion, this is a perfect time. The All-Star Game creates controversy over its selections every year. Rather than selecting the best players of that season, it’s commonplace to see four or five slots be given to underperforming big names or single representatives of under-performing teams. The most recent players to be snubbed due to this format or tendency are the Dodgers’ own Justin Turner and Alex Wood.

The main argument against Alex Wood and Justin Turner is their lack of appearances. Wood has only thrown 80 innings, but let’s not forget he wasn’t a full-time starter until May. In addition, he only falls below the requirement for leader boards by just a little more than five innings.

Turner was out with a hamstring injury for a couple of weeks, so he fell under the required number of plate appearances to qualify for a batting title. The difference is small, and if the season ended today, he would still win it despite taking a 0 for the remaining plate appearances. What makes his case is that he’s continued to hit at an other-worldly pace after his injury. But a trend that favors power over hitting sees Turner making a final push for the final vote.

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Josh Harrison, Michael Conforto, and Ender Inciarte are having stellar seasons compared to their teammates. But with all due respect, they shouldn’t be in the 2017 All-Star Game. Not only does Turner belong on the roster, but so does Anthony Rendon who’s hitting .297 with 16 home runs and 51 RBI. A case can also be made for Mark Reynolds and Justin Bour who have demonstrated they are more complete hitters than the three in the selection.

Pitcher’s aren’t selected by fans which brings up another issue. Why are some players voted in by fans, and others by players and managers? If it were a spectacle for the fans, they should vote for pitchers as well. If Wood’s selection was up to the fans, the outcome might have been different, since the NL managers and players chose to add more relievers to the 12-man pitching staff.

Again, Pat Neshek, Cory Knebel, and Brad Hand are having phenomenal seasons. But Wood is almost replicating their numbers as a starter. Carlos Martinez is also having a strong season, but Wood’s is simply better even though he’s pitched fewer innings.

His route to the Miami is tough but exists. Obviously, fans have no part in his selection, but a fellow Dodger might. The only way Wood gets in is if another pitcher drops out. Clayton Kershaw is scheduled to pitch the Sunday before the All-Star Game. If Kershaw does pitch, he will not be available for the Mid-Summer Classic.

As for the Dodgers who were selected, but didn’t receive a starting spot, Kenley Jansen was right. It is no one’s fault, other than complacent Dodger fans unwilling to vote for their stars, that Corey Seager won’t start ahead of Zack Cozart. LA sports fans have a reputation of front-running, bandwagoning, and being the last to arrive and first to leave from ball games. The latest turn of events for the Mid-Summer Classic only augmented that reputation.

Next: Analyzing Alex Wood's Dominance

Luckily for Dodger fans and Justin Turner, there is one more chance to right the wrong. With the last day of the Final Vote underway, Dodger fans should vote their red-bearded third baseman in. As the second-largest city and one of the largest fan bases in America, there shouldn’t even be a contest between Turner and the next-best candidate.