Gausman, Crawford join Posey as All-Stars
For the first time since 2018, the Giants will have multiple representatives at the All-Star Game.
As expected, right-hander Kevin Gausman and shortstop Brandon Crawford were named All-Stars when Major League Baseball unveiled full rosters on Sunday, joining Buster Posey, who was voted in as the National League’s starting catcher last week. All three will be making the trip to Denver, which will host the 2021 All-Star Game on July 13.
It’s the first career selection for Gausman, a Centennial, Colo., native who grew up 30 minutes away from Coors Field, and the third for Crawford. Posey, who earned his seventh career All-Star nod, and Crawford will both return to the Midsummer Classic for the first time since 2018 after enjoying resurgent seasons in their age-34 campaigns.
Crawford entered Sunday as the club’s offensive MVP after batting .264 with an .885 OPS, 17 home runs and 52 RBIs over 73 games this year. With a week to go until the end of the first half, Crawford is only four home runs shy of matching his career high of 21, which he set over 143 games during his lone Silver Slugger season in 2015.
“I can confidently say there’s no one more deserving,” manager Gabe Kapler said following the Giants’ 6-5 comeback win over the D-backs on Saturday. “I know it sounds strange, but he’s made incredible strides this year. I just think the at-bat quality has gotten better than it was even last year, and it was good last year. And then, obviously, he’s been a stabilizing force for us on defense, an incredible presence in the clubhouse as well. Tonight after the game, we all came in and for whatever reason the normal music wasn’t blaring, so Craw got straight to it and played DJ. He does it all right now.”
Gausman, 30, has emerged as one of the most dominant pitchers in the Majors this season, going 8-2 with a 1.68 ERA, second only to Mets ace Jacob deGrom (0.95 ERA) among qualified starters. He is lined up to make his final start of the first half against the Nationals on July 11, which will likely make him ineligible to pitch for the NL in the All-Star Game two days later.
“I imagine Gausman is going to want to take the ball for us that day, and we’re going to want him to pitch,” Kapler said. “I always understand how important it is for a pitcher to think about All-Star Game appearances. I think if you ask Kevin right now, he’s pretty focused on his Giants starts.”
If Gausman can’t pitch, the Giants have two other candidates -- right-handers Anthony DeSclafani and Tyler Rogers -- who could be in the mix to be added to the NL All-Star team as alternates. Kapler has said that he feels Rogers in particular should merit consideration after logging a 1.36 ERA with nine saves over 38 appearances for the Giants this year. Another Colorado native, Rogers has been particularly tough on left-handed hitters, holding them to a .118 batting average this season.
“As I think about Tyler Rogers and the work that he’s done thus far, he’s as worthy as any other reliever around baseball, in my opinion,” Kapler said. “He’s been so dependable, and his numbers are fantastic. I think it’s worth taking a closer look at his numbers against left-handed batters. You’d be hard-pressed to find a right-handed pitcher with better numbers against lefties.”