Looking up and down the lineup Tony La Russa has been putting out this year, I cannot say I am surprised to not see a Chicago White Sox position player make the American League All-Star team. Arguably, the three best offensive position players have been José Abreu, Yoán Moncada, and Yasmani Grandal.
The Chicago White Sox should be happy that a position player isn’t going to the All-Star Game.
The reigning MVP not making the All-Star team seems odd but Abreu is just not playing at that level yet this season. As a staple on this team, he is one of the top five first basemen in the MLB. However, his 2021 has been a bit lackluster compared to Vlad Guerrero Jr.
Moncada has been solid but not a superstar. His .789 OPS helps the team but is not All-Star worthy compared to Rafael Devers’s .938 OPS. Tim Anderson has also been solid but only recently has begun to pick things up. His eight-game hit streak has come a little too late to help his All-Star case.
Even if Grandal were selected, his right leg injury would make him unavailable for the game. Out of the three, Grandal might be the only real All-Star snub. It doesn’t matter since the injury will keep him out but he has been having an impressive season.
Ultimately, three pitchers will represent the White Sox but more importantly, zero position players. It may be a metaphorical slap in the face that this +91 run-differential Sox lineup has no representatives but it is a blessing in disguise.
On paper, this team looks solid. Anyone who has been watching closely over the last few weeks knows this team is just getting by. The season is not in shambles to the point of no return but the lineup is worn out and tired. Simply put, they look gassed.
Abreu is playing through some pain. As the captain of the team, he feels the obligation to stay on the field and produce. He does his job phenomenally and it honestly is not the same lineup without number 79. He is human though and he needs a break.
It is hard to say if Moncada is pushing through the pain as well, considering the slide into third last Thursday left a considerable gash on his hand. Along with the leg issues he endured earlier in the season, it may be for the best that he is not going to Denver.
If the White Sox had had one or two of the major pieces on the IL right back and Grandal was healthy, I would be ranting about his snub. The situation is different, though and Grandal needs to rest. The White Sox are winning games and maintaining the second-largest lead in the MLB but this lineup desperately needs the rest that the All-Star break will provide.
It is disappointing we won’t get to see Tim Anderson on prime-time television but Lance Lynn, Carlos Rodón, and Liam Hendricks all have the same mean demeanor that this team is all about. After the four days of rest, the fully-charged lineup will hopefully get their swagger back to begin the second half.