Moore: Diamondbacks’ Descalso and utility players in the All-Star Game

From Greg Moore at the Arizona Republic on June 28, 2018, with mention of SABR member Jacob Pomrenke:

All-Star appearances are often tied to winning, a large reason why the Diamondbacks had four guys selected by players, coaches and managers last year. But individual numbers and star power matter most to fans – who ironically haven’t even had the chance to let down the most deserving Diamondbacks player, Daniel Descalso.

He’s not on the ballot, though he could have appeared in four spots.

He has played first base, second base, third base and left field this year. (He also pitched. But since fans don’t vote for pitchers, we won’t get into that here.)

Descalso also gets it done at the plate, and his teammates recognize his contribution.


None of that quite reflects his true importance.

“Versatile players who can play any position have always been valuable – and perhaps no more valuable than they are today, when major-league team rosters routinely include 12 or 13 pitchers, which leaves few openings for ‘specialists’ on the bench who can only do one thing well,” Jacob Pomrenke, of the Society for American Baseball Research, said in an email Tuesday.

SABR’s Pomrenke mentioned Kris Bryant and Ben Zobrist of the Cubs, Cleveland’s Jose Ramirez and Pittsburgh’s Josh Harrison as standouts.

“The large pitching staffs we see today also means that teams have fewer pinch-hitters available, so versatile players like the ones above have to be willing and able to move around the field on a daily or weekly basis,” he wrote. “It’s quite a demanding role.”

Read the full article here:

Originally published: June 28, 2018. Last Updated: June 28, 2018.