Why isn’t Jacob deGrom pitching in the 2021 All-Star Game? Mets ace gives reasons for absence

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“Big Jake” will be a big loss for this year’s All-Star Game.

Jacob deGrom, two-time Cy Young winner and de facto best pitcher in Major League Baseball, won’t be pitching (or, more tragically, hitting) in this year’s All-Star Game, much to the chagrin of baseball fans everywhere.

FAGAN: Breaking down Jacob deGrom’s a Hall of Fame case

deGrom is putting together a historic season in 2021: On the morning of July 8, he leads the majors in ERA, ERA+, FIP, WHIP and K:BB ratio. (He also leads the league in FLUMP, FLIMP, CRUMP and SHUMP, but those stats are all made up.)

The Mets ace on Wednesday explained his decision to sit out the All-Star Game. Here’s what he said.

Why isn’t Jacob deGrom pitching in the All-Star Game?

Despite being selected to the 2021 All-Star Game, the Mets ace and NL Cy Young front-runner said that he’s planning to spend the All-Star Game with his family and to rest his body for the second half of the season.

deGrom explained the decision on July 7:

“I’ve thought about it, and obviously being named to an All-Star team is a great honor, but I’m gonna take that time and just enjoy it with my family, whether I pitch Sunday or not,” deGrom said Wednesday. “And get healthy for the second half. Hopefully Tai (Taijuan Walker) takes my place.”

The starter is unsure whether he’ll pitch Sunday, the last game before the All-Star break. That wouldn’t play into his decision, though.

deGrom missed a few starts in the first half while dealing with some nagging injuries, including a shoulder injury that forced him away from a start, but he didn’t hit the IL at any point. 

The 33-year-old is a four-time All-Star and a two-time Cy Young winner, and should he keep up his current ridiculous pace, he’ll be a lock for his third by season’s end. The Mets currently sit at the top of the middling NL East.

Walker would be a fitting replacement for deGrom, though it’s unclear whether that’s what’s going to happen: Walker, a late-offseason signing for the Mets, has been New York’s second-best starter, pitching to a 2.44 ERA through 15 starts.

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