I have to be honest and admit I lost track of the All Star break this season. Maybe it was because last season started late and there was not an All Star break or maybe it has to do with the Cardinals not playing very well the month leading into the break — I am not entirely sure. Regardless of the reason, I did not really notice that the Cardinals had three representatives in the All Star Game in Denver this year: Nolan Arenado, Alex Reyes, and Yadier Molina, who elected not to play in order to rest.
Arenado was an obvious choice to represent the Cardinals. He has been the team’s most valuable player all year on both sides of the ball. He leads the team with 2.6 fWAR which is the third most among National League third baseman. Leading the NL third basemen are Manny Machado at 2.9 fWAR and Justin Turner at 2.8 and both have made the team as well. Arenado was voted in by the fans to make his sixth All Star team.
After many ups and downs in the big leagues the talented and exiting Alex Reyes was nominated to make his first All Star team in 2021. Reyes leads Cardinals pitchers in rWAR with 1.8, though his walks have hurt his fWAR. He has the lowest ERA on the team at 1.52, out-performing his 3.5 FIP — FIP is a big part of Fangraphs’ fWAR calculations, while ERA is more involved in Baseball Reference’s. Though he has walked 12.5% of batters he faced, he has struck out 30.7% and has held on to earn 20 saves, sixth most in Major League Baseball.
Yadier Molina started the season off hot, but cooled significantly after missing time with an injury. His inclusion was probably more due to reputation than performance in 2021 as Omar Narvárez and Will Smith were arguably stronger candidates. Molina has elected not to attend the All Star game in order to provide himself more time to rest, which seems like a wise decision. It also allowed Narvárez to be named to the team. This is Molina’s tenth All Star team selection.
While the Cardinals representatives are strong, I do think there is an argument to make that there were some snubs. We can look into that tomorrow!
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Cardinals get a big power bat at 54 in outfielder Joshua Baez.— Ben Badler (@BenBadler) July 12, 2021
Swing-and-miss risk, but one of the most explosive players in the class with huge power and arm strength.https://t.co/MBcPEjvjKy