Last year, the Chicago Cubs got out to an unbelievable start, and thus had a whopping five starters on the NL All-Star team (Anthony Rizzo, Ben Zobrist, Addison Russell, Kris Bryant, and Dexter Fowler).
This year, the Chicago Cubs have gotten out to an unbelievably frustrating start, and thus are looking at having only one – maybe – starter on the NL All-Star team.
The latest round of voting tallies came out today – the final update before voting concludes in three days – and the Cubs now have just one starter at third base:
— MLB (@MLB) June 26, 2017
— MLB Communications (@MLB_PR) June 26, 2017
Kris Bryant still slots in as the starter at third base, but Nolan Arenado has been hot and getting a lot of national attention (while Bryant has been in something of a slump). The gap between them has shrunk considerably, from nearly 300,000 votes last week, to fewer than 60,000 votes this time. I don’t know if that lead is going to hold up without something of a push from Cubs fans. (Voting is here, by the way.)
Elsewhere, although he’d been in the third outfield slot from the first week of balloting, Jason Heyward has fallen out of starting position, behind a deserving Marcell Ozuna.
The Cubs get some feathers in the cap for where they are in the balloting – it’s cool that Javy Baez and Willson Contreras are in second place, for example – but they won’t have any other starters.
First base is especially competitive this year, so it’s at least possible that Anthony Rizzo won’t be a reserve this year, either. On the pitching side, I could argue that Wade Davis and Carl Edwards Jr. are deserving, but reliever selections are always limited. We’ll see.
It’s entirely possible that Bryant winds up the Cubs’ sole representative this year, which would be pretty shocking from where we thought things stood back in Spring Training. But so it has been this year.
Given the extra rest missing the game affords, maybe it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if the Cubs didn’t have a ton of All-Stars, even as fun as it is.