Both the National League and American League All-Star roster will be finalized later today. All 30 major league teams are guaranteed to have at least one representative, yes, even the Oakland Athletics.
Alexis Diaz should see his name added to the NL All-Star roster this evening. The Cincinnati Reds closer has been one of the best relievers in baseball during the first-half of the 2023 season.
But will the Reds actually have more than one representative present in Seattle next Tuesday? If so, which player, other than Diaz, is most likely to represent the city of Cincinnati in the Midsummer Classic?
Reds OF TJ Friedl deserves a spot in the 2023 All-Star Game.
Honestly, when it comes to making a run at the National League All-Star roster, you could make the case that two or three members of the Cincinnati Reds, in addition to Alexis Diaz, should be part of the conversation.
Spencer Steer has shown that he belongs, as his 13 home runs lead the club. Steer is second, behind Jake Fraley for the team-lead in RBIs with 48. Matt McLain, though he's only appeared in 42 games, currently leads Cincinnati in OPS (.928) and OPS+ (142).
But while he's been rather under-appreciated outside the Reds fanbase this season, TJ Friedl is very deserving of a spot on the NL All-Star squad. Friedl (2.0 bWAR) is second on the team in WAR behind only Alexis Diaz.
Friedl leads the Cincinnati Reds in stolen bases (14) and is second on the team in both batting average (.305) and on-base percentage (.371). Friedl also, according to FanGraphs, leads all Reds player in defensive runs saved (4 DRS).
Friedl has also earned David Bell's trust when it comes to facing left-handed pitchers, something that could not have been said earlier in the season. The 27-year-old actually has a higher OPS versus left-handed pitchers (.930) than he does against righties (.830).
It would honestly be rather surprising if any Cincinnati Reds player other than Alexis Diaz made the cut, but if anyone on the roster deserves a spot on the All-Star roster, it's TJ Friedl.