On Sunday afternoon after the Washington Nationals have finished their game, you will want to tune into ESPN at 5:30 pm ET for the All-Star Selection show for the dramatic reveal of the pitchers and reserves. Every team will have at least one player represented on the roster to play in the 2019 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard on Tuesday July 9th in Cleveland. This season, you noticed the new selection process with an initial fan vote followed by a runoff vote from the top three players at each infield, catcher and designated hitter position, and the top nine for the outfield to determine the starters.
While the Nats should have had some finalists to start at the All-Star game at Cleveland’s Progressive Field, it did not happen. Players like Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto did not finish in the top tier to make it to the “final vote” at their positions, and Howie Kendrick was not on the ballot because he was considered a bench player. But do not worry because each player has a chance to make it as a reserve player along with Max Scherzer. The remaining roster spots — 24 total in the NL, 23 in the AL — will be filled via the player ballot and the Commissioner’s Office. The player ballot will fill 16 of 24 available spots in the NL and 17 of 23 in the AL, and the Commissioner’s Office will fill the remainder.
The AL manager Alex Cora and the NL manager Dave Roberts have no say in roster construction except for choosing their starting pitcher from the pitcher’s selections which is a dozen players for each league. In fact, there are 32 roster spots for each league, with 20 position players and 12 pitchers per side.
Every year there are pitchers who cannot play because they pitched on the Sunday before the All-Star game, but this year they can pitch in the All-Star game if they want to pitch by a special accommodation. Other players cannot play due to injury, and in that case, if an elected starter is unable to play, the reserve who received the most votes on the player ballot at that particular position then moves into the starting lineup. The roster replacement is then chosen by the league. If a player-elected reserve position player must be replaced, the next in line on the player ballot becomes a reserve. Once the top three finishers on the player ballot at a given position are covered, then it becomes a selection by the Commissioner’s Office.
Expect when the voting is revealed that the Nationals will have three players on the list with Max Scherzer, Anthony Rendon and Juan Soto on the roster. For Scherzer, a selection on this year’s All-Star roster would be his 7th consecutive game, and for Rendon and Soto, it would be their first.
The starters who were voted in via the “Final Vote” by the fans are:
C: Gary Sanchez, Yankees
1B: Carlos Santana, Indians
2B: DJ LeMahieu, Yankees
SS: Jorge Polanco, Twins
3B: Alex Bregman, Astros
DH: Hunter Pence, Rangers
C: Willson Contreras, Cubs
1B: Freddie Freeman, Braves
2B: Ketel Marte, D-backs
SS: Javier Baez, Cubs
3B: Nolan Arenado, Rockies