As we all know, until fairly recently the Nationals have had a low profile in baseball. This has carried over to the all-star game; for the past four years the team has only had the required minimum one player take part in the summer classic. Last year Ryan Zimmerman was the only National, and before him was Christian Guzman (2008), Dmitri Young (2007) and Alfonso Soriano (2006). The only year there were two Nationals was in 2005, when both Livan Hernandez and Chad Cordero were selected. Both deserved to go, but even so two players was rather a low total for a team that was 52-36 at the time (a 95-96 win pace). Even before they came to DC, only one Expo (Livo again) made the team in 2004. Given that history, and the fact that the team is battling just to reach the .500 mark before the break, it seems an odd year to make a case for increasing the number of Nats in the All-Star game.
And yet ...
As was noted here recently, the heart of the order has been meaty. Strong cases can be made for Ryan Zimmerman (who won't, but should, be the #1 vote getter for the NL at 3b), Adam Dunn and Josh Willingham. Despite Livo's renaissance season, none of the starters have put themselves into position for consideration; Livo's lack of support over the past few weeks will keep him out. But both Tyler Clippard (tied for 3rd in the NL with 8 wins) and Matt Capps (leading the league with 20 saves, 3 more than anyone else) will be hard to ignore. As much as we might like to see them get some time off, Clipp & Save are having excellent seasons.
Five Nats in the All-Star game? In a year when the league may will award an All-Star game to Nationals' Park? It could happen. How many Nats do you expect to see on the NL roster in July?