In a surprise move, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has already officially named the starter for the National League in the All-Star Game and it's the Dodgers' own Hyun-Jin Ryu. The announcement was official Sunday night, several hours after .
The reason I say it's a surprise move has nothing to do with Ryu being the guy. He's deserving of the honor and we'll get to that. It's a surprise because the starting pitcher usually isn't revealed until the day before the game. There's a press conference the Monday before the game where both managers reveal their starting lineups. This is when we see who the NL DH will be along with both starting pitchers, who then stick around and take questions. Generally speaking, we figure out who the starting pitchers are right before the press conference when we catch a glimpse of said pitchers in the hallway.
So, as noted, this is a surprise to hear the announcement more than a week ahead of time, but Roberts has that right. It's his guy and all he had to do was ask Ryu if he wanted the honor -- and why wouldn't he want it?
Ryu, a 32-year-old lefty and first-time All-Star, is 9-2 with a 1.83 ERA, 0.90 WHIP and 94 strikeouts against only seven walks in 103 innings. He's been about as dominant as can be and going back to last year's 15 starts, he has a 1.89 ERA in the past two seasons combined (185 1/3 innings in 31 starts).
Ryu was set to hit free agency last offseason but accepted the Dodgers' one-year qualifying offer. Even with the free agent market having dried up and at Ryu's age, surely if he keeps this up he'll test free agency this coming offseason.
Regardless, Ryu is the NL All-Star starter. Congrats on the well-earned honor, Mr. Ryu.