Sunday, July 06, 2014

Congrats to Our Dodger All-Stars: Puig, Gordon, Kershaw and Greinke

Pretty good choices, don't ya think?

This afternoon, 4 Dodger players were chosen to be on the National League All-Star Game roster.  They are Yasiel Puig, Dee Gordon, Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke.

Puig was voted in through the fan ballot.  He came in third for all National League outfielders; behind Andrew McCutchen and Carlos Gomez.  Both Dee Gordon and Clayton Kersahaw were elected through player balloting.  Zack Greinke was selected by NL manager Mike Matheny.

I love that Dee Gordon was recognized by his peers as All-Star worthy.  That's a testament to the amount of hard work he has put into his craft.  He was once thought to be the odd-man out.  Now, he is forcing the Dodgers to rethink his place in the depth charts.  Beast Mode is definitely strong with him.

I've read that some Dodger fans are absolutely flabbergasted by what Gordon has accomplished.  Frankly, I am not.  What he is doing now is him just meeting the level of expectations placed on him when he first put on Dodger Blue in 2011.  In the two years following his incredible debut he absolutely sucked, and he has appropriately responded by working harder to get stronger and learn more skills.  It has obviously been working out for him and I'm glad to see him receiving some accolades for it.  Remember, he was considered a potential All-Star as a prospect just a couple of years ago.  Now, he is proving that those prognosticators were not wrong.  Hopefully, this is the start of a long and fruitful career.

Per a Dodger press release:
Los Angeles’ four All-Stars are its most since 2010, when the club also had four players selected to the Midsummer Classic: Andre Ethier, Jonathan Broxton, Rafael Furcal and Hong-Chih Kuo. The four All-Stars tie for the most among NL clubs along with the Brewers, Cardinals and Reds.

(Pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014)
Gordon, 26, will make his first All-Star appearance in his fourth big league season. He entered play today with a .301 batting average and leading the Majors in triples (9) and stolen bases (42) in 84 games. Gordon and Maury Wills (55, 1965 & 46, 1962) are the only Dodgers in franchise history with more than 40 steals before the All-Star break and according to Stats, LLC, Gordon is just the fourth all-time player to post nine or more triples and 40 or more steals before the All-Star break, joining Juan Samuel (1984 Phillies – 40 SB, 11 3B), Vince Coleman (1988 Cardinals – 45 SB, 9 3B & 1994 Royals – 45 SB, 10 3B) and Jose Reyes (2007 Mets – 46 SB, 9 3B). Gordon has been clutch with 25 RBI and the NL’s second-best batting average with runners in scoring position at .370 (37-for-73). Gordon is the first Dodger second baseman to be named to the All-Star team since Orlando Hudson in 2009.

(Pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014)
Greinke, who was previously selected to the 2009 All-Star Game with Kansas City, entered today tied for the National League wins lead with 11 and also ranked among the league leaders in ERA (2.66, 7th) and strikeouts (119, 4th). The 30-year-old was the National League’s April Pitcher of the Month after going 5-0 with a 2.04 ERA (8 ER/35.1 IP) in six starts and established a Major League record with 22 consecutive starts allowing two or fewer earned runs from July 30, 2013-May 22, 2014.

(Pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014)
Kershaw was selected to his fourth consecutive All-Star team and entered today ranked among the MLB leaders (min. 75.0 IP) in wins (10, T-6th), ERA (1.85, 1st), opponents’ batting average (.199, 6th), strikeouts per 9.0 innings (11.85, 1st) and WHIP (0.87, T-2nd). The 26-year-old was selected as the NL’s June Pitcher of the Month, when he threw his first no-hitter (June 18 vs. Colorado) and started his active streak of 36.0 consecutive scoreless innings, which is the third-longest in Los Angeles history. The last Dodger to be selected to four or more consecutive All-Star teams was Mike Piazza, who earned five consecutive All-Star selections from 1993-97.

(Pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014)
Puig was selected to his first-career All-Star team in his first full Major League season and earned a place in the NL’s starting lineup with 4,059,746 fan votes. The Dodgers have had a fan-elected outfielder in four of the last five All-Star Games, with Andre Ethier (2010), Matt Kemp (2011, 2012) and now Puig. He became just the fifth different Cuban player to win a fan election, joining Hall of Famer Tony Perez (1970), Tony Oliva (1971), Bert Campaneris (1973-75) and Jose Canseco (1988-90, 1992, 1999). The 23-year-old entered play today with 12 homers and 49 RBI in 83 games and ranked among the NL’s best in batting average (.308, 8th), on-base percentage (.393, 7th) and slugging percentage (.516, 7th). He’s made several highlight-reel catches in right field and has six outfield assists this year, tied for the second most in the NL. Puig earned a selection as the NL’s May Player of the Month after batting .398 (43-for-108) with eight homers and 25 RBI in 28 games.
Graphic above via @Dodgers on twitter.

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