Diamondbacks News

Arizona Diamondbacks: Chris Owings deserving of All-Star Game spot

By Joseph Jacquez
Chris Owings deserves All-Star attention. (Christian Petersen / Getty Images)
Chris Owings deserves All-Star attention. (Christian Petersen / Getty Images) /
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Arizona Diamondbacks utility players, closer Fernando Rodney and  outfielder David Peralta all had cases to join four of their teammates in Miami for the mid-summer Classic.

For the first time in 15 years, four or more players will represent the Arizona Diamondbacks at the All-Star Game.

Only July 11 at Marlins Park in Miami, first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, third baseman Jake Lamb, and starting pitchers Zack Greinke and Robbie Ray will don the National League uniform and try and help the senior circuit beat the junior circuit.

In 2002, at Miller Park in Milwaukee, Luis Gonzalez, Randy Johnson, Byung-Hyun Kim, Damian Miller, Junior Spivey and Curt Schilling represented the defending World Series champions for field manager Bob Brenly. In 1999, at Fenway Park in Boston, Jay Bell, Johnson, Matt Williams and Gonzalez represented the Diamondbacks. It also will be the fourth time in franchise history with multiple first-time all stars and the sixth time with multiple homegrown players.

Goldschmidt, 29, leads the majors with 66 RBIs and tops the National League in on base percentage (.437). “America’s First Baseman” is third in the NL in OPS (1.025), behind Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds and Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals. Ryan Zimmerman was voted in by the fans to start at first base, but Goldschmidt deserved the spot. In addition to his spectacular numbers, he is the only NL position player to make each of the past five all-star games.

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After being snubbed last season, Lamb will join Goldschmidt as the second Diamondbacks position player next Tuesday. The 27-year-old has produced done from the cleanup spot with 65 RBIs, one behind Goldschmidt for the major league lead. The third baseman had tough competition at his position (the Rockies’ Nolan Arenado will start) but hopes to make an impact.

Starting pitching is necessary,  and the Diamondbacks one-two punch of Greinke and Ray have pitched like aces in 2017. Each was rewarded with All-Star roster spots.

Greinke, 33. has bounced back from a career worst 2016 and is pitching like the guy the Diamondbacks thought they acquired in the winter of 2015. The right-hander’s 3.05 ERA is ninth in the NL, his 1.02 WHIP ranks fourth and his 109.1 innings pitched is 12th.

Ray, 25, has pitched his way into the upper echelon of the game’s best. Diamondbacks nation was waiting for the left hander to breakout and the elite version of Ray has arrived. The southpaw’s 3.06 ERA is just behind Greinke, his 128 strikeouts is fifth in the majors and his .202 batting average against is third. Over the last month-plus, Ray has made his case to start for the National League, especially if Max Scherzer and Clayton Kershaw cannot start because of their respective schedules.

Snubs?

It is quite obvious the Diamondbacks would not be where they are today without the four names mentioned above. The fact that Arizona and the Los Angeles Dodgers do not have an All-Star Game starter speaks volumes about the fan vote system, but that conversation is for another day.

Infielder Chris Owings, reliever Archie Bradley, closer Fernando Rodney and outfielder David Peralta could have easily joined their teammates in paradise.

Owings, 25, had a great offensive season in 2016, but has stepped it up several notches this season. The middle of the order is driving in runs, but Owings has been arguably the Diamondbacks most consistent hitter. The infielder and outfielder has hit safely in 17 straight starts (.313 with 12 RBIs) and hit three long balls on the recently completed homestand.

Bradley, 24, has turned into quite the back-end reliever this season. The right hander turned in his starting spikes and has turned into a “relief ace.” The righty’s 1.23 ERA and 0.90 WHIP is fourth and fifth in the NL respectively.

Rodney, 40, blew a save on the last homestand and struggled out of the gate, but has been brilliant in his first season as the Diamondbacks closer. The right hander has allowed one earned run in his last 20 appearances and his 21 saves is second in the NL.

Peralta, 29, was not on the ballot but arguably should have. In the last 30 days, Peralta is hitting .337 and is tied with Goldschmidt for 14th in average overall (.316).

"Arizona Diamondbacks: Same approach in this important series"

Eight players from one team in the All-Star Game is a bit unrealistic, but the Diamondbacks are the second best team in the NL and the game’s roster should reflect that.

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