With one week to go until this year’s All-Star Game in Denver, which will be the first played in two years after it was scrapped in the 2020 COVID season, we already know of two Red Sox players who will be in attendance. Both Xander Bogaerts and Rafael Devers led their respective positions in fan voting, putting them in as starters for the American League side. On Sunday, the pitchers and reserves were named, and the Red Sox got three more in, with Nathan Eovaldi, J.D. Martinez, and Matt Barnes all getting the call.
The rest of the AL roster is absolutely stacked. pic.twitter.com/VDQDHpTtIk— MLB (@MLB) July 4, 2021
We’ll start with the guy who made it out of the bullpen in Barnes, who was a no-brainer to get one of the bullpen spots on this roster. This is the first time the righty has made the All-Star team. The righty leads all American League relievers in fWAR, pitching to a 2.75 ERA and a 1.96 FIP over 36 innings, striking out more than 15 per nine innings while walking just over two per nine. His strikeout rate minus walk rate is the highest in all of baseball. His 18 saves trail only Liam Hendriks of the White Sox in the American League.
Over in the rotation, Nathan Eovaldi came at a mild surprise, though it’s certainly not undeserving. The righty has been the de facto ace of the staff this year, and while there have been some inconsistent stretches he’s frequently come through when the team has needed him. Through 17 starts on the season Eovaldi has a 3.41 ERA, a 2.55 FIP, and the lowest home run rate in the league. This will be the veteran’s first trip to Denver as well.
Finally, we have Martinez making the roster after losing out to Shohei Ohtani in the fan voting for the starting spot. There was a little bit of a question as to whether or not the slugger would make it in as there was stiff competition at his position with Yordan Alvarez and Nelson Cruz having strong seasons as DH’s. The latter did indeed make the team, but so did Martinez and his 145 wRC+ entering Sunday’s action. This will be his fourth time making the All-Star game.
Getting five representatives at the game is no small feat, but the Red Sox did have some other potential names in the bullpen who could have gotten the call, with Adam Ottavino, Garrett Whitlock, and Josh Taylor in particular having cases. They could potentially get another chance if a few pitchers take themselves out for whatever reason, but for now the Red Sox will settle with their five players on the roster.