Now that we are just over a month from the All-Star Game, it makes me want to look at the pitching that will be featured this year. I think this could be some of the youngest pitching we have ever seen at the Midsummer Classic, especially when you look at the NL. I believe the NL’s pitching will be made up mostly of starting pitchers — young starting pitchers.
The young pitchers that I’m looking at are Shelby Miller, Matt Harvey and Patrick Corbin. Then you add in guys like Jordan Zimmermann, Cliff Lee and Clayton Kershaw and you have six starters already who are having great seasons. In the last couple of years, setup men have gotten the All-Star recognition they deserve. But I don’t believe we’ll see them in the All-Star Game this time around. Not because there aren’t any worthy of it, but due to the fact that starting pitching had been so good that we will only see starters and closers.
The AL is going to have some deep pitching as well. It just won’t be as young as the NL. We will see Yu Darvish, Max Scherzer, Clay Buchholz and probably Justin Verlander. I’m sure I am leaving someone out. Then you get to the closers. You know Mariano Rivera is going to be there. I believe AL manager Jim Leyland is going to have a tougher time than his NL counterpart, Bruce Bochy, in deciding who will make up his bullpen. (The NL has Aroldis Chapman, Craig Kimbrel, Jason Grilli and Jonathan Papelbon, just to name four dominant closers.)
It will be an exciting game with stark contrasts in age. I believe the NL will be very young and the AL will be a more veteran staff. The outcome will be decided based on whether the youth of the NL can avoid trying to do more than they are capable of, since the game has so much riding on it now.