Sunday, July 1, 2012

Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw to represent Dodgers in All-Star Game

Matt Kemp was voted in by the fans and Clayton Kershaw was selected by National League Manager Tony LaRussa to represent the Dodgers at the 83rd All-Star Game in Kansas City in a couple weeks.

Kemp, despite not playing since May 30, was voted in by the fans, capturing nearly 5.5 million votes. At one point, he was the leading vote-getter in the league. He edged out Ryan Braun for the honor. However, Kemp isn't going to play in the game (but will compete in the Home Run Derby), so a replacement will be named at a later time.

It was the second consecutive year the Dodger outfielder was voted in by the fans. The last time that happened was 1974-75 when Jimmy Wynn was elected. The only other time in the Dodgers' franchise history was Duke Snider in 1954-55.

Kemp's injury gives Andre Ethier a chance to make the team. However, Bryce Harper or Michael Bourn, both of whom are in the Final Vote, could get the nod instead of Ethier if they doesn't win the 35th spot.

Kershaw is an All-Star for the second time in his career (also second year in a row). Despite his apparent "struggles," he's still been the Dodgers' best pitcher (apologies to Chris Capuano).

Capuano deserved consideration, but the National League pitching staff is talent-laden (save Huston Street and Wade Miley, who were the lone Padre and Diamondback representatives). Guys like Zack Greinke and James McDonald deserved a spot on the team, too. So, I'm not surprised to see Capuano was left off the squad.

Other than maybe A.J. Ellis and Kenley Jansen, no other Dodger deserved All-Star consideration. Ellis lost out to Buster Posey, Yadier Molina and (ugh) Carlos Ruiz. There's no way a 31-year-old having a career year was going to get the nod over those three. Jansen has been his usual dominant self, but guys like Aroldis Chapman, Joel Hanrahan, Craigh Kimbrel and Jonathan Papelbon were selected instead of Jansen.

Photo credit: EephusBlue, Paint the Corners

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