As we stand a little over a month away from the 2019 All-Star game, should Washington Nationals’ closer Sean Doolittle be an All-Star?
Without Sean Doolittle, the Washington Nationals in all likelihood would be one of the worst teams in Major League Baseball. Throughout the course of the first two months of the season, Doolittle was the only reliable arm in a chaotic Washington pen.
Due to being the only arm Manager Dave Martinez could rely on, Doolittle has been extremely overused. Doolittle is the second most used closer in all of baseball with 32 games pitched and is well on his way to breaking his career high 70 appearances that came back in 2013.
Despite overuse, Doolittle has been dominant when he has been on the mound. Currently, he has 16 saves to go with a 3.23 E.R.A. and 38 strikeouts in 30.2 innings. When healthy, Doolittle is one of the best closers in baseball, so should he be heading to Cleveland in July?
To answer this question we must examine his competition. Kirby Yates of the San Diego Padres seems like the only guarantee lock closer to qualify for the National League All-Star team. Yates has 26 saves on the season to go with a 1.13 E.R.A. and has struck out 15.2 batters per nine innings.
Other than Yates, Doolittle likely will be battling with former National Felipe Vazquez, Josh Hader, and Will Smith for a spot on the team. All three of these guys have more saves and a better-earned run average than Doolittle on the season, but you have to take into account what the Nationals’ left-hander has meant to his team.
Without Doolittle, the Nationals would not be close to being a real competitor for the postseason, and that is a fact. Time and time again he has been the steady force that has kept the Nationals leaky bullpen together by a thread and has been when called upon to stop the bleeding.
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When choosing an All-Star team things like this should matter, and Sean Doolittle should be an All-Star. He singlehandedly held together an entire teams bullpen for the first two months of the season, something not many closers ever can say they did. Don’t just look at the stats, look at what a pitcher means to their team, and if when you look at the Nationals if Sean Doolittle does not scream All-Star to you, you better start taking a second look.