The annual MLB All-Star Game is less than a week away, and there are certainly going to be many changes made to both rosters. One of the biggest storylines is Oakland Athletics pitcher Jeff Samardzija being voted in as a National League All-Star prior to his trade over from the Chicago Cubs.
Since he was voted in as an NL pitcher, he is not eligible to pitch for the AL. A similar thing happened in 2004 with Carlos Beltran, who went from the AL to the NL, but he did eventually get the chance to play for the NL squad when future Hall-of-Fame outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. went down with an injury.
The same thing could happen to Samardzija. Pitchers are the most protected players in the league. If they feel any sort of pain, they are often asked to skip the festivities to make sure they are good to help the team for the second-half run. It is not fair to Samardzija that his baseball abilities are not recognized in the Midsummer Classic over front office business.
He should not start, but it would be nice to see him get in the game for a couple of outs against some of the game’s best hitters.
It would be a shame to not see Samardzija get the chance to pitch in his first ever All-Star Game. Not that any pitcher should get injured for it to happen, but Samardzija is more deserving than some of the players on the current roster.