It's certainly never too early to start predicting and pontificating on who will be the Nats All-Star representative(s). Last year, we thought there was a real chance that the Nats could have multiple all-stars for the first time since 2005, when Cordero and Livo represented the team. But, after the final-man vote the Nats were left with Matt Capps as their lone (yet very deserving) all-star.
This year, the Nats are playing baseball that goes against Nationals history, with stellar pitching and atrocious hitting. This year, it stands to reason that the Nats will once again have a pitcher repping the club, especially with Zimmerman on the DL.
So, just who are those candidates? In the order from Most to Least likely...
Drew Storen - 1.48 ERA - 0.86 WHIP - 9 for 9 Saves - 11 SD
The former 1st round pick is showing his true colors after a dreadful spring. In our mind there is no other pick for our All-Star Representative. Storen has stepped up and grabbed a stranglehold on the "not-yet-named" closer position.
Jason Marquis - 5-1 Record - 4.08 ERA - 1.38 WHIP - 3.22 FIP - 2.04 BB/9
Marquis has gotten the best of the Nats this year, after giving the Nats his worst last year. Taking advantage of the Nats offense, Marquis has pitched very effectively to a 5-1 record - sparking talk of a possible trade. Though his stats got slightly marred by Friday's slaughter of the O's, Marquis has been one of the big standouts on the team.
Tyler Clippard - 1.69 ERA - 1.05 WHIP - 12 SD - 1.84 WPA - 20 of 26 Stranded Runners
Struggling a bit as of late, Clippard had been a model of consistency for the entire 2011 season. He has spend all year locking down opposition, making save situations happen in the 7th and 8th innings - cleaning up for other pitcher's messes. The likelihood of a non-closer reliever making the All-Star team are slim, but it's always possible.
Jordan Zimmermann - 3.98 ERA - 2.81 FIP - 1.4 WAR - 6.63 K/9
Zimmermann's stats are better than every Nats starter this season, as evidenced by his owning the highest WAR on the team. Though, traditionally sabermetric stats haven't really helped anyone make the all-star team. The only reason Zimmermann stands a lesser chance is because of his 2-5 record.
Danny Espinosa - 27 RBI - 1.4 WAR - 2.7 UZR
Danny has struggled to make the necessary adjustments of late, but his solid play could come back and he could conceivably make the all star team. If the stars align perfectly.
Wilson Ramos - .262 AVG - .336 OBP - 7 for 14 CS
Ramos doesn't stand much chance to make the team with the dearth of quality catching in the National League - Yadi and McCann. But the young standout will make his fair share of All-Star Games in the future.
What say you, CapBallers? What does your list look like??