The Nats All-Star is CJ Abrams

The 2024 All-Star Game starters were revealed on Wednesday for the July 16 Midsummer Classic at Arlington’s Globe Life Field. We all knew that no Washington Nationals player were close to even the Top-5 in the fan vote. But every team gets a player on the roster. There are 32 first-timers on this All-Star team.

This season, the Nats had several deserving candidates from CJ Abrams to Jake Irvin to Kyle Finnegan to Jacob Young to MacKenzie Gore to Jesse Winker. At 5:30 p.m. ET tonight, the full rosters will be announced on the All-Star Selection Show on ESPN, and the Nats All-Star representative is CJ Abrams. Obviously, this is a first-time All-Star selection for him.

“It means a lot [being named an All-Star]. I dreamed of it as a little kid. … I love it.”

“My whole life. I mean, me and my dad, putting in the work since I was a little kid. We’re going to keep going, though. It’s just the first one, right?”

CJ Abrams spoke to the media earlier about his All-Star selection

Just so you know the rules, it is no longer the All-Star manager’s decision to fill-in the rest of the roster after the fan vote, and that change was made in 2017. The pitchers and reserves for both squads — totaling 23 players for each side are made by the “Player Ballot” choices, and there are selections made by the Commissioner’s Office.

The fans vote in the nine position starters for the NL and the AL in two phases. In Phase 1, fans vote online for players at each position and pick their top choices, and those tabulations were made for the top overall players in total votes for each league, and they were awarded starting spots, and Bryce Harper got that for the NL and Aaron Judge for the AL. That left 18 spots where the top-2 player by vote count went into a Phase 2 of voting.

In Phase 2, fans were given the two finalists (by most votes) at each remaining position and there was a final vote. Those spots were revealed on Wednesday.

Today’s roster named the bench players and the pitchers. The All-Star managers will choose from the pool of pitchers as to who will be their starting pitcher for the game, and every other pitcher essentially is the bullpen.

The players’ ballots accounted for 17 players in each league — eight pitchers (five starters and three relievers), as well as one backup for each position. The remaining six players (four pitchers and two position players) in each league will come from the Commissioner’s Office. Some of those players chosen will be to assure that there is one player for each team represented.

Abrams, 23, put up some of the best numbers across National League shortstops in the first half of the 2024 season, leading the group with a .506 slugging percentage. He ranked second in extra-base hits (40), OPS (.859), RBI (46) and triples (5). Advanced metrics, according to placed him second in wins above replacement (3.5) and OPS+ (146), and he ranked second in wRC+ (138), according to

Abrams is one of the top shortstops in the National League, he also ranked in the top 10 among all National League hitters in several categories, including triples (3rd, 5), extra-base hits (5th, 40), slugging percentage (7th, .506), OPS (7th, .859), doubles (T8th, 21) and runs scored (9th, 56).

Through today’s game against St. Louis, Abrams is hitting .282 with 21 doubles, five triples, 14 home runs, 46 RBI, 29 walks, 14 stolen bases and 56 runs scored in 82 games. He’s posted a .353 on-base percentage and a .506 slugging percentage along the way.

If a fan-elected starter is unable to play in the All-Star game, they are replaced in the starting lineup by the player on the roster who received the next most votes on the player ballot at their position. The roster replacement is then chosen by the Commissioner’s Office. That gives the Nats a chance for Jake Irvin who is clearly one of the snubs. Irvin ranks 5th in the NL in ERA, and far ahead of Tyler Glasnow, Shota Imanaga, and Logan Webb who all got All-Star spots.

But there are rules on who can actually pitch in the All-Star game, and that rule has changed. It used to be that any starter who pitches on the Sunday before the All-Star game could not pitch in the game. Now, those starting pitchers and their team will make the decision with a usage accommodation if there are factors (such as an IL stint, recent surgery, innings workload or other reasons) that would affect the pitcher’s availability. If an accommodation is granted, then the parties agree upon the pitcher’s status and workload availability.

There is also one additional All-Star category whereby Commissioner Rob Manfred has the ability to make a Special Selection to honor active players with distinguished careers. These selections, if made, are additional roster spots and do not count toward team representation, and this has happened only twice when Albert Pujols and Miguel Cabrera were Special Selections in the 2022 All-Star game.

Again, as players drop out or cannot participate, other players will be added, so there could always be the possibility that a second Nationals’ player could be added.

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