Which Reds warrant All-Star Game consideration?

June 23rd, 2024

This story was excerpted from Mark Sheldon’s Reds Beat newsletter. To read the full newsletter, click here. And subscribe to get it regularly in your inbox.

CINCINNATI -- In a few weeks, Major League Baseball will reveal the rosters for the 2024 MLB All-Star Game. Of course, many clubs have obvious choices for who will represent them at Globe Life Field in Arlington on July 16.

As for the Reds? There are no stone-cold locks, no clear-cut choices for the National League roster. But there are many who deserve a closer look.

“I think a lot of guys deserve it, I’ll leave it at that." left fielder/first baseman said. "There’s some obvious ones, but I think there are a lot of guys probably not being talked about that deserve it too."

Each team gets a minimum of one All-Star representative, and based on recent history, it would be a stretch for Cincinnati to get more than two. The Reds had one in both 2023 () and '22 (Luis Castillo), and they haven't had three All-Stars since '18 (Joey Votto, Scooter Gennett and Eugenio Suárez).

The top two vote-getters at each position (which will be announced on Thursday at 6 p.m. ET on MLB Network) will advance to Phase 2, which will take place from June 30-July 3. Then, head-to-head voting matchups will determine the starters for the 94th edition of the Midsummer Classic.

Fans can continue to vote up to five times a day for Phase 1 until noon ET on Thursday at MLB.com/vote, the MLB app or the MLB Ballpark app.

Pitchers are not eligible for the fan vote, but I am including them here, because the Reds have multiple candidates on their staff.

Here are some of the leading contenders Cincinnati has to offer:

, SS
In the first ballot update, which was released on Monday, De La Cruz had the best chance among Reds players after being ranked third among NL shortstops with 324,559 votes. It was nearly 700,000 behind leader Mookie Betts, but the Dodgers superstar will be out for a while after fracturing his left hand.

Just for the excitement factor, De La Cruz stands out; he leads MLB with 37 steals and has hit 13 homers. His offensive numbers also include a .240 batting average and a .782 OPS.

, 3B/1B
There seemed to be little to no chance for Candelario to get his first All-Star Game bid during the corner infielder's deep funk the first two months this season. But his June tear -- with a .342 average, eight homers and a 1.057 OPS in 19 games this month, entering Sunday -- warrants attention.

, SP
Greene is on pace for his best season. He is 5-2 with a 3.35 ERA through 15 starts, and he entered Sunday ranked 11th among NL starters in innings (88 2/3), tied for sixth in strikeouts (98) and ninth with 9.95 strikeouts per nine innings. According to Baseball Reference, his 2.9 WAR ranked 11th for pitchers in MLB.

, SP
The lefty Lodolo entered his Sunday start with an 8-2 record and a 2.76 ERA in 11 outings. He does not rank high among statistical leaders after opening the season on the 15-day injured list with left calf tenosynovitis, and after going back on the IL on May 15 with a left groin strain. But Lodolo has 70 strikeouts over 65 1/3 innings and 9.6 strikeouts per nine innings.

, SP
Through 15 starts in his sophomore season, Abbott is 6-6 with a 3.40 ERA and has a 2.4 WAR, according to Baseball Reference.

, RP
It always seems tougher for middle relievers and setup men to get All-Star attention, but Cruz is worth a look. His 56 strikeouts ranked second among MLB relievers, entering Sunday, and he has allowed only 15.4 percent of his inherited runners to score -- the lowest rate in MLB (minimum 25 inherited runners). Since May 19, he has a 1.23 ERA in 14 2/3 innings over 16 games.

“I would say Fernando Cruz is our best frontrunner. He’s been electric," outfielder said. "He does things of elite status. I think his numbers reflect that as well. We see what he’s done. When he comes into games, he comes in such tense moments.”

Greene had a hard time naming just one or two contenders.

“Nick has been great. Abbott has been great. Cruz has been great," Greene said. "Elly has obviously been up and down, but he’s been in some unbelievable moments. It would be exciting to see all those guys in the All-Star Game.”

Of course, Greene would like to be included as well.

"I’m working extremely hard," he said. "I’m hoping when I look up at that time, that I would be there. But there’s a lot out of my control. I just have to keep pitching.”