With Aaron Judge sidelined due to injury and Gerrit Cole’s participation in doubt, the New York Yankees could potentially be absent from the All-Star Game box score for just the third time in its history.
Despite facing criticism from some fans during a challenging stretch, the Yankees have managed a solid performance this year. They currently hold a record eight games above .500, putting them in contention for a wild-card spot in the postseason as of Monday.
The team’s prospects could significantly improve if their injured players recover successfully, making them legitimate playoff contenders.
However, a combination of underperforming stars and the aforementioned injuries raises the unlikely possibility of the All-Star Game box score this season lacking a Yankees player.
While there will certainly be Yankees representation at the game, as each team is guaranteed at least one player on the All-Star roster, it’s likely that the Yankees will have at least two.
Despite his indefinite absence due to a toe injury, Aaron Judge, the team’s exceptional outfielder, is expected to secure a starting spot. Furthermore, Gerrit Cole, the team’s ace pitcher, is a strong contender for a place on the roster.
Cole, boasting an impressive 8-1 record with a 2.78 E.R.A., stands as the Yankees’ top choice to take part in the game. The Yankees’ pitching rotation is currently set up to ensure Cole has ample rest before the All-Star break, positioning him as a leading candidate to start for the American League.
Nonetheless, managing rest for starting pitchers can be tricky. If Cole doesn’t get enough rest days before the game or if A.L. manager Dusty Baker decides to keep him in reserve, he might find himself watching the entire game from the sidelines.
This scenario wouldn’t be unprecedented for Cole. Despite being selected to five All-Star teams (once with the Pirates, twice with the Astros, and twice with the Yankees), he has only made one appearance in the game, pitching a scoreless inning in 2015.
Apart from Cole, no other Yankees player appears to be a guaranteed lock for the roster. While Clay Holmes has posted solid numbers as a closer, they aren’t exceptional.
Michael King, a top reliever, has faced recent struggles, and first baseman Anthony Rizzo faces stiff competition. Consequently, there exists a possibility that the Yankees might not have a single player take the field in the game scheduled for July 11 in Seattle.
An absence from the box score would be a significant rarity for the Yankees, last occurring in 1991 when Scott Sanderson was the lone representative at the game in Toronto but didn’t pitch. In total, at least one Yankees player has featured in 90 out of 92 All-Star Games.
In 1943, the Yankees were shut out of an All-Star Game box score for the only other time in their history, albeit for different reasons.
Joe DiMaggio was away on military service, and manager Joe McCarthy, also in charge of All-Star roster selections, chose not to use any of his own players, despite their presence on the team.
McCarthy’s decision was justified by the American League’s dominant performance in the game, marking their eighth win in 11 All-Star Games and reinforcing the league’s supremacy.
As the American League enters this year’s All-Star Game on a nine-game winning streak, maintaining that streak without any Yankees players could once again demonstrate the strength of the junior circuit.