After three-straight years of being one of baseball's best pitchers, Corey Kluber is finally headed to an All-Star game. The Cleveland Indians' 30-year-old ace (or one of the three aces, if you want to go there) was named to the 2016 MLB All-Star game by manager Ned Yost as a replacement for injured Toronto Blue Jays starter Marco Estrada.
Before even getting into the debate of "well is he really an All-Star?" you should probably stop. Because you are wrong. He is an All-Star, and he should have been one for the past couple seasons.
Currently, Kluber is second in the American League in FanGraphs WAR, behind only Jose Quintana -- another deserving All-Star candidate who was left out due to his win/loss record. Kluber edges Quintana in fielding independent pitching, however: Kluber's AL-leading 2.96 quite a bit better than Quintana's 3.21. Kluber has been doing just about everything you want a starting pitcher to do: He's striking batters a batter out per inning, he is walking just barely over two per nine innings, and nearly 50 percent of balls of opponents bats are going for ground balls.
Over the past three calendar years, no American League pitcher has a better FIP than Kluber's 2.75. The next closest is David Price at 2.89. Even if you want to say that Quintana has a better claim to the injury replacement than Kluber, it's hard to argue against The Klubot's track record in recent years.
One funny thing, as Indians beat reporter Jordan Bastian noted, is that Corey Kluber will be pitching in the All-Star game in San Diego... the same city that traded him years ago for half a season of Ryan Ludwick. We won the trade?
Regardless, it is finally happening, Kluber deserves it, and we now have three Indians players in the All-Star game, the most since 2007 when CC Sabathia, Victor Martinez, and Grady Sizemore were all representing the team.