Ever since the MLB All-Star Game rules were changed to “make the game count,” with home field advantage in the World Series at stake, the National League has been prone to make some goofy additions to the bench in terms of reserves. Utility has trumped merit on occasion, something that obviously does not sit well with certain groups of people.
There is a prime example of just such a guy on this NL reserve list with Pittsburgh Pirates’ outfielder/utility guy Josh Harrison. He is a useful player having a solid season, but it is hard to imagine that he is truly deserving ahead of some of the guys who will miss the team and will be subject to the “final five” voting. Such is the fallout when “this one counts.”
Here is the complete list of National League reserves:
C – Devin Mesoraco, Cincinnati Reds
C – Jonathan Lucroy, Milwaukee Brewers
1B – Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves
2B – Daniel Murphy, New York Mets
2B – Dee Gordon, Los Angeles Dodgers
SS – Starlin Castro, Chicago Cubs
3B – Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals
3B - Todd Frazier, Cincinnati Reds
OF – Charlie Blackmon, Colorado Rockies
OF – Josh Harrison, Pittsburgh Pirates
OF – Hunter Pence, San Francisco Giants
OF – Giancarlo Stanton, Miami Marlins
Of this group you can reasonably argue that Stanton and Frazier both belong in the starting lineup. In Stanton’s case he was just the victim of a crowded outfield situation and will still get the chance to sign in the Home Run Derby and possibly as the starting designated hitter.
Gordon will be a guy to watch. He is absolutely deserving and could have a big impact in a close game with his speed. There will also be opportunities to get at-bats for those slugging catchers thanks to the DH spot.
What do you think of the National League reserves? Any glaring omissions? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.