This past week it was announced by Major League Baseball that Bryce Harper was selected by the fans to start in the outfield for the National League in the all-star game in New York at Citi Field. Shortly after that, it was also announced that starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann would be representing the Nationals as well. This will be Harper’s second time in the game and Zimmermann’s first.
Bryce Harper’s selection to the all-star game was a bit of an odd one. Harper has only played 53 games this season after missing a little over a month with knee bursitis after crashing into the right field wall at Dodger Stadium. Even though he missed significant time, Harper still put up decent numbers. His numbers are good, but they are notnecessarily that of an all-star starter. He has hit 13 home runs and is hitting .276 in what is mostly from the first month and a half of the season. However, with fans voting in the starters, the best players do not always start the exhibition game. But that’s what it is, an exhibition gamethat is mainly for the fans. If the fans want Harper to startin the mid-summer classic then they should get him. As a fan I am ok this. Harper was also selected by National League home run derby captain David Wright to participate in the home run derby. Harper’s father Ron will reportedly be pitching to him.
Zimmermann on the other hand was the most deserving player on the team of an all-star selection. Zimmermann and Adam Wainwright are tied for the league lead in wins with 12. Last year it took Zimmermann the whole season to reach 12 wins. He has a stellar ERA of 2.57 and an opponent’s batting average of only .217. There is no doubt that these are the stats of an all-star. When the other Nationals pitchers were struggling early in the season, Zimmermann would shut down opponents every five dayswhile putting the team on his back. Zimmermann is also acandidate to start the game along with Mets pitcher Matt Harvey. Harvey pitched in 10 games last season but is taking the league by storm this year and is the hometown favorite to start. If Harvey does not start, Zimmermann has a very good chance to be selected.
With the Nationals hovering at, above, or below the .500 mark, the all-star break will be a needed rest for players who may have a few bumps and bruises. The week of events will also give baseball fans across the country a chance to see two of the Nationals best players this season in Harper and Zimmermann. Harper and Zimmermann will also have the opportunity to help give the National League home-field advantage in the World Series.