Will Wainwright start ASG? Matheny to decide
NL All-Star manager has option to choose his own ace to start Midsummer Classic
ST. LOUIS -- Manager Mike Matheny has filled his National League All-Star Game roster, which includes eight starters selected through the fan vote. Now, Matheny gets to choose who will start the game on the mound for his team.
It is the manager's prerogative to select his starting pitcher, of which Matheny has several worthy candidates, including one in his own clubhouse. That would be Adam Wainwright, a three-time All-Star who is the National League's ERA leader (1.89) and recently became the league's first to win 11 games.
With Yadier Molina already named as the NL's starting catcher, Matheny has the opportunity to open the All-Star Game with an all-Cardinals battery.
"There's some thought to that," Matheny said. "We still have time. I'll have to answer this question 100 different ways between now and [the announcement]."
That announcement will be made during a press conference the day before the All-Star Game.
Wainwright is scheduled to make his final start of the first half on Saturday, which means he is clear to pitch in the All-Star Game on Tuesday, July 15. That was not the case last season, when Wainwright pitched on the final Sunday of the first half. That means the question isn't if Wainwright will appear, but rather whether he'll be the first NL pitcher to do so.
"Obviously, that's something every starter dreams to do," Wainwright said on Sunday. "Last year, I remember I was pitching the day before the All-Star break and I told Mike, 'If it was any consolation, unless I was starting [the All-Star Game], don't even think about moving my start around because that would be the only thing worthy of doing that.' The way [Matt] Harvey was pitching, it was obvious in [New York City] that he was going to get the start. It's something every starter would take tremendous pride in."
Cincinnati's Johnny Cueto would be another worthy starting candidate, though he may not even be available as he is scheduled to start for the Reds next Sunday. The other obvious candidate is Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw, who is riding a scoreless streak of 36 consecutive innings.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, and follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.