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The best pitcher in baseball won't be pitching in the MLB All-Star Game.
New York Mets ace Jacob deGrom, the current Cy Young frontrunner, told reporters Wednesday that he will skip the All-Star Game in Colorado this month so he can spend more time with his family during the break.
"I've thought about it and obviously being named to an All-Star team is a great honor, but I'm just going to take that time and just enjoy it with my family whether I pitch Sunday or not, and get healthy for the second half.
"It was kinda up in the air whether I'd go or not, and then thinking about it, I think it's best for me and this team for me to not go and throw, and rest for the second half."
deGrom currently holds a 1.08 ERA and leads the majors in strikeouts with 146 despite throwing only 92 innings (only one other player in the top 10 in strikeouts has thrown fewer innings). On Wednesday, he pitched seven innings against the Milwaukee Brewers, allowing four hits and two earned runs while striking out 10 and walking none.
Not having deGrom and his triple-digit heat on the mound is obviously a loss for the National League and anyone planning to watch the All-Star Game, but it's also understandable why deGrom might want to take a breather when he can.
Despite his brilliance, injuries have been a recurring issue for deGrom this season, hence why he's only thrown 92 innings. The right-hander experienced four different health scares between May and June, exiting a game or missing a start with right lat inflammation, tightness in his right side, right elbow tendinitis and right shoulder soreness at different points.
Who will replace Jacob deGrom at the All-Star Game?
With deGrom out, the NL will now have to replace him on the roster. There are a number of worthy candidates.
DeGrom directly endorsed Mets teammate Taijuan Walker while announcing his decision, calling the right-hander "100 percent deserving to go," per ESPN. There are a number of established arms having great years as well, though, including Max Scherzer and Walker Buehler, as well as Freddy Peralta, the third head of the Brewers' three-headed monster in their rotation.
Here's how the statistics shake out at first glance:
Walker: 85 innings (15 starts), 2.44 ERA, 3.06 FIP, 87 strikeouts, 7-3 record
Scherzer: 94.1 innings (16 starts), 2.10 ERA, 3.09 FIP, 127 strikeouts, 7-4 record
Buehler: 108.1 innings (17 starts), 2.49 ERA, 3.53 FIP, 107 strikeouts, 8-1 record
Peralta: 93 innings (16 starts, 1 relief appearance), 2.23 ERA, 3.10 FIP, 129 strikeouts, 7-3 record
That's not the extent of the candidates, as there are also guys like Clayton Kershaw, Pablo Lopez, Joe Musgrove and Ian Anderson who are doing well.
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