Cubs News

The Cubs are sending 3 players to the 2023 MLB All-Star Game

11 months agoTony Andracki

The Cubs will be well-represented in Seattle next week.

Three players — Marcus Stroman, Dansby Swanson and Justin Steele — were named to the National League All-Star roster Sunday.

It’s the second appearance for both Stroman and Swanson and the first All-Star nod for Steele.

The Cubs held a team meeting before Sunday’s game and manager David Ross announced the All-Star selections.

“Dansby got a couple claps, Stro got a couple claps and the place kinda erupted for Steeley,” Ross said.

Stroman and Steele have anchored the Cubs rotation this year, serving as the best 1-2 punch in baseball.

Stroman is 9-6 with a 2.76 ERA and 1.09 WHIP, leading baseball in starts (18) and shutouts (1) and tied for the lead in complete games (1). He was an All-Star back in 2019 with the Blue Jays.

“Stro’s great,” Ross said. “We’ve talked so much about the moments this season where we’ve struggled to put up Ws and then his turn comes around and he finds a way to carry us across that finish line. He’s put us on his back multiple times. Big games [after] long losing streaks — he takes the ball and puts us in a chance to win ballgames.

“He’s been one of our MVPs — him and Steeley. He’s definitely deserving of that. You go out and you pay a starting pitcher to be a horse and he’s come in and been that guy.”

Steele sports an MLB-best 2.43 ERA to go along with his 9-2 record and NL-leading 1.03 WHIP. He has made 15 starts as he navigates his second full season in the rotation.

“Just super pumped for him, his family, the hard work,” Ross said of Steele. “This guy made a real dedication this offseason, moving to Arizona, putting the work in to be able to be this type of pitcher for us all season long. His first half’s been phenomenal. He’s a guy we lean on. He’s deserving of it.”

Stroman has been hyping up Steele all year and was stoked to see his rotation mate earn the honor.

“Way more excited for the news for Justin than myself, to be honest with you,” Stroman said. “To be a young guy and to be so dominant in this league and to have that validation, I think it’s awesome for Steeley. It just shows you that he’s an ace. I think it’s gonna give him more confidence, more motivation to continue on this wave that he’s been on for many, many years.”

Steele gave Stroman a lot of credit for helping him over the last two years.

“He’s played a huge role in me becoming a better pitcher,” Steele said of Stroman. “Not even always on the field mentally and physically. Just teaching me to know my body. I’m always watching and learning from him. He’s been just a great role model.”

Swanson and Nico Hoerner have been at the helm of a strong defense behind Stroman, Steele and the Cubs pitching staff.

Swanson leads all NL shortstops in WAR (2.9) and ranks 7th in the league among all positions players in the metric.

This is his second straight All-Star Game for Swanson as he has delivered on the 7-year, $177 million contract the Cubs signed him to over the winter.

“Dansby’s incredible,” Stroman said. “I can’t speak highly enough about Dansby. I’ve always been a fan of his from when I used to play against him. But being around him, he makes the game look so easy. Just to have that type of player in the lineup who converts every single groundball, is ranging, is putting together incredible ABs — he’s truly an irreplaceable type of player.”

Swanson is batting .261/.348/.407 (.755 OPS) with 9 homers, 35 RBI, 38 runs scored and has played stellar defense at shortstop. He has also been a leader inside the Cubs clubhouse, helping to build a winning culture on this team.

“Dansby’s been the stabilizing force,” Ross said. “Everyday players like him, Nico, [Ian Happ] have been these staple guys that have been around here. Dansby’s the new guy in town and carrying the big contract but never has he shied away from any moment. All he wants to do is play. He wants to grind. He wants to be in there for the boys.

“He’s a team player and everything’s about winning and getting out there and just continuing the everyday process that it takes to be a big leaguer. He has the work ethic, the championship pedigree, the mindset to be that guy and that staple that we’ve needed here in the middle of our diamond. I’m happy we got him.”

Swanson said he reached out to his wife, Mallory, and his parents after hearing the news. He also texted a bunch of friends back home in Georgia.

“It’s obviously such a special honor,” he said. “This game has given us so much and to be able to give back and be involved in something like this is special.”

The All-Star Game is set for Tuesday, July 11 in Seattle. Stroman and Steele will both be rested to pitch in that game if they decide to participate. They could also use the time to rest and give their arms a break.

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