Major League Baseball announced three new additions to the 2019 All-Star teams this afternoon. Masahiro Tanaka will replace injured Marcus Stroman for the American League. In the National League, Pirates reliever Felipe Vazquez gets the honor of getting one of two open spots. Unfortunately, former Brewer Zack Grienke will not play in the game, so a spot was available and Vasquez was named to fill it.
For Milwaukee fans, the third selection is the most important one. Todd Rosiak reported that Brandon Woodruff would take the place of Josh Hader on the team as Hader has been dealing with tightness in his back. Hopefully it is the type of tightness in his back that allows for his availability for two more games prior to the break. He is listed as day-to-day so that result is unlikely.
So, Milwaukee’s budding ace gets the nod to take his spot on the team. With a National League-leading 10 wins, Woodruff is certainly deserving.
He will replace Josh Hader, who is battling back soreness. Hader is day to day, and will still attend the ASG. https://t.co/IKf3XRskC8— Todd Rosiak (@Todd_Rosiak) July 6, 2019
As most BCB readers understand, a pitcher’s win totals are not absolutely in the hands of the pitcher. Thus “wins” are a suspect statistic to measure a pitcher. Woodruff deserves to be an All-Star due to a plethora of other reasons. Woodruff is tied for 4th among all pitchers in MLB in fWAR (3.1). Here are the names of those tied with him: deGrom, Grienke, Strasburg, Ryu, Cole, Buehler, and Giolito. He is is 6th in FIP (2.91) and 9th in xFIP (3.32). He is 13th in strikeouts per nine innings (10.5).
When one takes into account his growth from the beginning of the season (his propensity to give up a big inning in many of his early season starts), his rankings become even more impressive. When he is on the mound for the Brewers, they generally win the game. When the Brewers are struggling, he is the pitcher that stops the bleeding. Milwaukee is in first place in the NL Central. That would not be the case without the emergence of Brandon Woodruff. He definitely deserves the honor of representing Milwaukee in the All-Star game. Congratulations to Woody on getting the selection!
Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs