Ian Desmond’s all-star snub still stands. The Nationals’ shortstop finished fourth out of five players in the National League’s Final Vote after voting closed this evening, losing out to Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman.
“It’s a shame,” Manager Davey Johnson said, “because he’s the best shortstop in either league. From a baseball standpoint, I don’t know anybody in baseball that I’d take over him, defensively or offensively. He made it last year. He couldn’t attend because of injuries. He should have made it this year.”
In his first two full seasons in the majors, Desmond was a frequent target of fans’ criticism. He led the majors in errors his rookie year, and in his second season he hit .253 with a .298 on-base percentage. Today, he seemed touched by the support he did receive in the voting.
“Our fan-player relationship has come a long way over the last few years,” Desmond wrote on his Twitter account. “I really appreciate you guys going all out for me. Thank You.”
When rosters were announced last Saturday, Desmond failed to make the team as NL shortstops Jean Segura, Everth Cabrera and Troy Tulowitzki, the starter, were chosen over him. Desmond ranks second in the majors among shortstops in wins above replacement at 3.3, behind only Cabrera (3.5).
Desmond, like 2012 Final Vote runner-up Bryce Harper, could still make the team as an injury replacement. Tulowitzki has not played since June 13 with a rib injury. But Tulowitzki has said he will participate if he plays in a regular season game first. According to the Denver Post, it appears Tulowitzki will return in time to play in the All-Star Game.
Desmond finished ahead of only Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. Hunter Pence and Yasiel Puig also beat him out.
In the American League, Blue Jays reliever Steve Delebar won the Final Vote over four other set-up relievers.
For now, Jordan Zimmermann and Bryce Harper remain the Nationals’ lone all-stars. Stephen Strasburg and closer Rafael Soriano could be candidates to replace any pitcher who pulls out of the game with an injury.