Were the Pirates Snubbed on the All-Star Rosters?

PITTSBURGH, PA — Andrew McCutchen and Joel Hanrahan were both named to the National League All-Star team on Sunday for their second straight season. Both players have posted numbers worthy of the nominations.

McCutchen entered game action on Monday as the only player in the Majors with at least 15 home runs, 51 RBI and 14 stolen bases this season. Hanrahan is just one of four pitchers in the Majors with at least 60 saves since the beginning of the 2011 campaign. He’s notched already 20 this season.

But perhaps there were three others that got snubbed from the All-Star game. James McDonald, A.J. Burnett and Jason Grilli all posted numbers worthy of the recognition. McDonald entered game action with just a 2.44 ERA on the season. Over his first 14 starts, the right-hander didn’t allow more than three runs in any start — the only Bucco to do so since 1900. Burnett, too, set a franchise record becoming the first since Dock Ellis in 1974 to win eight straight starts. And in relief, Grilli has whiffed 48 batters over just 30.2 innings while holding opponents to just a .157 average and a 2.05 ERA.

“Last year I addressed it in an aggressive fashion,” Manager Clint Hurdle said. “I know [Giants skipper Bruce] Bochy readdressed in a very aggressive fashion. And there you go. You’ve got two boys yelling at each other like we did back when we were in high school. I do understand the challenges that come with the entire decision making process from the Managers prospective. I think it’s the Managers prerogative to fill it out the way he feels best suited to fill it out. I felt we had worthy candidates in A.J. and James. We’ll see how the last week plays out.”

With Burnett pitching on Sunday, the right-hander wouldn’t have been available to pitch. But Hurdle said that with McDonald starting on Saturday, his side session would have come on Tuesday making him available.

“It’s challenging. The game has significant meaning so you need to have a competitive squad. There have been years where, they have to have one,” Hurdle said in reference to having at least one player from each team. “I think we were able to change that mindset last year. We didn’t just have to have one. We had some that were worthy and this year we have more that are worthy. And Grilli’s name never even came up other than internally. As you look at the game, you talk about the importance of an eighth inning man, he’s been as good as any eighth inning reliever in baseball this season. There’s [hasn’t] been much publicity or even talked about his opportunity and I think he’s worthy as well.”

“There’s a number of good men to choose from this year. Unfortunately two of our good men were left off as of now. There’s no perfect way,” Hurdle said. “He left Matt Holliday off. Matt Holliday has had a pretty good season as an outfielder. And Johnny Cueto? From my eyes the way I’ve seen that guy pitch this year? I was like ‘holy cow’. Cueto isn’t on that team? He’s been magnificent.”

Hurdle said he had a meeting with the team and talked the importance of representing the Pirates in the All-Star game. The message was heard loud and clear.

“You go there and you bear down, you represent,” Hurdle said. “We need to get that extra home game in the World Series. And nobody laughed in the Clubhouse. [It’s a] sign of growth.”

Enjoy this story? Pirates Prospects will be switching to a subscription site on 4/13, so that we can continue bringing you the best Pirates coverage there is. For a very small monthly price, you can continue getting articles like this, along with coverage from every minor league city. Get more information here, and subscribe today!

Share This Article

Andrew McCutchen Named NL Player of the Month

Next Story »

Exploring the Arsenal – Lucas Harrell

  • PiratesFan

    McDonald is more deserving than Hanrahan. He should have at least made the final vote.

  • Thom Kay

    Of all the snubs this year, Burnett and Grilli are the least objectionable. Cueto, Greinke, Josh Johnson, and Bumgarner have each been better than Burnett and didn’t make the team either.

    Aroldis Champman and his 15.9 K/9 and 1.93 ERA was the only middle reliever to make the team, so it’s not surprising that Grilli didn’t. If I were to replace anybody with Grilli, it’d probably be Hanrahan.

    • Scott BUCN Klima

      Chapman is a closer.

      I do agree Grilli in no way deserves to make it. Evan Meek had a sub 1.00 ERA when he made it as a non-closer, and he may of been left off if the Pirates had another candidate that year. JMac is the only snub, he or Cueto should be on instead of Lynn/Hamels.

  • John Lease

    Burnett should be an all star, as should McDonald. But it’s LaRussa getting to stick it to the Pirates one last time…

  • James S

    Yes they were snubbed. Rennie Stennett should have made the team in 1977 when he was battling Dave Parker all season for the batting title. He was hitting .327 as of today, 35 years ago. He was up at .342 in the middle of August.
    He then broke his leg severely at the end of the month and never hit well again.

    All-star selections never change. It’s always the media centers like New York & California that get all the attention, and it always will be that way.

  • James S

    LaRussa can still make up for his hatred of the team that released him and helped end his playing career (his own weak hitting is really what ended it). He can name Cutch to start in place of the injured Matt Kemp, or pick him as the starting DH.

Latest Analysis

  • Josh Bell made the move to first base over the off-season. (Photo credit: David Hague)

    Why Should You Care About Prospects?

    3 hours ago

    Yesterday I had a shorter day than usual. The Pirates had cuts at the MLB level, and a road game. The day was shortened at Pirate City, ...

    Read More
  • Gregory Polanco

    Q&A: Trading Prospects For Rentals, Polanco Concerns, Meadows vs Appel

    1 day ago

    I missed the Q&A last week due to a common problem in Spring Training: I forgot what day it was. It was around 6:00 that I was ...

    Read More
  • Nick Kingham f

    Improving His Two-Seam Fastball will Make Nick Kingham a More Effective Pitcher

    2 days ago

    With Jameson Taillon returning from Tommy John surgery, and unlikely to make an impact at the Major League level early in the year, the top prospect to ...

    Read More
  • Arquimedes Caminero 3

    The Roster Situations That Could Impact the Makeup of the Pirates Bullpen

    4 days ago

    There are less than two weeks remaining in Spring Training, and the one area where the Pittsburgh Pirates had actual position battles is heating up. There were ...

    Read More
  • Jordan Luplow

    How the Pirates are Trying to Stay Ahead of the Curve With the New Draft Rules

    5 days ago

    The 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement brought a lot of changes to Major League Baseball. The biggest change for the Pittsburgh Pirates came in the draft. From 2008-2011, ...

    Read More
  • Alen Hanson

    The Key For Alen Hanson to Help the Pirates in the Majors This Year

    6 days ago

    When the Pittsburgh Pirates moved Alen Hanson to second base last year, part of the plan was to get him to the majors faster by putting him at ...

    Read More
  • Tyler Glasnow 2

    What the Stats Don’t Tell You About Tyler Glasnow

    1 week ago

    The stat line for Tyler Glasnow’s start at Pirate City yesterday looked great: 3 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K. The lone run ...

    Read More
  • JaCoby Jones Josh Bell

    JaCoby Jones Did Fine in the Move to Shortstop, But Needs to Cut Down on Strikeouts

    1 week ago

    The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted JaCoby Jones as an outfielder in the third round of the 2013 draft, then surprised everyone the following year when they moved him ...

    Read More
  • Cody Dickson is a lefty with the upside of a middle of the rotation starter. (Photo Credit: Mark Olson)

    The Mental Adjustment that Led to Cody Dickson’s Dominant 2014 Second Half

    1 week ago

    Trusting his stuff and not trying to do too much — that has been the key for left-handed pitcher Cody Dickson so far in his professional baseball ...

    Read More
  • Third Base Mathisen Luplow Joe

    Who’s on Third? In the Pirates’ Farm System, It Could Be Anyone

    2 weeks ago

    If you have ever played third base in your life — professional, college, high school, slow pitch softball — then the Pittsburgh Pirates might be contacting you ...

    Read More
  • Browse More Articles