The San Diego Padres have two players heading to the All-Star Game in Seattle. In a head-scratchng move, neither of them are Fernando Tatis Jr.
As I wrote last month, memories of a PED suspension and a later start to the season because of it likely caught up with Tatis. It doesn't matter what the 24-year-old superstar has done in the days since his season debut on April 20 (including posting a 137 OPS+ and tying with Juan Soto for the team lead in bWAR at 3.6 despite having 71 fewer plate appearances), Tatis not being included in the Midsummer Classic shows that there are some serious flaws in the selection process and bias in the player vote.
A snub of Fernando Tatis Jr. of the San Diego Padres shows that MLB doesn't really want to show off its brightest stars
Sure, there is a blemish on the past of Tatis with the suspension, but not having the energetic player who has impressed as much at the plate as in the field (his 1.4 defensive bWAR this season is tied for third in the NL, just 0.4 behind leader Ha Seong-Kim) just shows that MLB doesn't understand the power of marketing its most popular stars. Yes, I understand every NL team had to have a representative on the team, which could have cut down the chances for Tatis even more, and that the Padres likely won't be at .500 when the game takes place in Seattle, but not having the charisma and talent of Tatis on the field in the Pacific Northwest next week is absolutely a missed opportunity.
It's certainly possible that Tatis could still be added to the team as an injury replacement, but it should never have come to that. Tatis should have joined in the celebration with Soto and Josh Hader on Sunday when the teams were officially announced. He absolutely earned it.
Perhaps the snub will serve as extra motivation for Tatis in the second half of the season. That's the brightest outlook we can give on one of the biggest slights of the 2023 MLB All-Star Game.