Washington Nationals: Five Nats selected for All-Star Game

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WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 30: Bryce Harper
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 30: Bryce Harper /
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The Washington Nationals had five players selected for the All-Star game, including three starting position players.

The Washington Nationals were well-represented when the All-Star rosters were announced on Sunday night. Bryce Harper, Daniel Murphy, and Ryan Zimmerman were all elected to start and Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg were named to the NL pitching staff.

Harper garnered the most fan votes in the MLB with 4.63 million. He has returned to MVP form this season and did not waste any time proving he is all-star worthy, homering twice off of fellow all-star Carlos Martinez on Sunday night. He will start in the outfield alongside Charlie Blackmon and Marcell Ozuna on July 11 in Miami. This is Harper’s fifth time being named an all-star, which is especially impressive considering he’s only 24 years old.

Murphy was also elected to start the midsummer classic. Second base is a deep position, with Murphy edging out reigning batting champ DJ LeMahieu and Josh Harrison. After finishing second in MVP voting in 2016, Murphy has picked up right where he left off this season. In 75 games, he has a slash line of .334/.387/.569 with 14 homers and 55 RBI’s. This is Murphy’s third time being named an all-star, including two consecutive seasons.

Zimmerman, the face of the franchise, has been one of the best stories in the league this year. After struggling and battling through injuries over the past few seasons, he has come back with a vengeance this year. He appears to be a lock for Comeback Player of the Year, but is also in the early MVP discussion.

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Everyone has taken notice of Zimmerman’s bounce-back season, and he was elected to start at first base for the NL. First base is one of the deepest positions and Zimmerman will be backed up by Paul Goldschmidt and Joey Votto. This is Zimmerman’s second time being named an All-Star, but his first time since moving to first base.

Scherzer was named to the National League pitching staff and has a good chance to start the game. He has been arguably the most dominant pitcher in the majors this season, and is the only qualified starter with an ERA below 2.00.

His main competition to start the game is most likely Clayton Kershaw, but he is currently in line to start on Sunday against Kansas City. This is just two days before the All-Star game, so he would be unavailable. If Scherzer wants to start, the honor is most likely his. He is now a five-time All-Star and has made the team every season since 2013.

Strasburg joins Scherzer on the NL pitching staff. Strasburg’s massive contract extension began this season, and he has earned it so far. In 16 starts, he has pitched to a 3.51 ERA and is currently 9-2. This is his third time being named an All-Star and although he isn’t likely to get the starting nod, he is an excellent option for manager Joe Maddon out of the bullpen.

Anthony Rendon and Gio Gonzalez also appear to be All-Star worthy, but were left off the roster. Rendon was named a final vote candidate and will compete with Justin Bour, Kris Bryant, Mark Reynolds, and Justin Turner for the final spot.

According to Fangraphs, Rendon is fifth in the MLB in WAR and leads all third basemen. He definitely deserves it, and this would be the first time in his career. He needs all the votes he can get and if you’d like to vote for him, you can do so here.

Gonzalez also appears to be All-Star worthy. He has stated all year that his goal is to play in the All-Star Game in his hometown of Miami. He has been erratic since his phenomenal 2012 campaign, but has pitched wonderfully this season. In 17 starts, he has pitched to a 2.77 ERA and is currently 7-3. He’s also third in the NL in ERA, behind only Scherzer and Kershaw. Look for him to be a possible replacement for an unavailable pitcher. This would be his third time being named an All-Star.

Next: Bryce Harper our player of the week

The NL All-Star roster is full of Nats, and they could potentially have four of the nine starters. Five Nats made the original roster, but two more appear to be deserving. Rendon is a final vote candidate, and needs all the votes he can get. Remember to #VoteRendon as much as possible between now and Thursday!

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