Pirates fans upset Mitch Keller got passed up for division rival with All-Star nod

What more does Mitch Keller have to do to earn an All-Star nod?
Pittsburgh Pirates v Cincinnati Reds
Pittsburgh Pirates v Cincinnati Reds / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

The Pittsburgh Pirates have a pair of All-Stars in outfielder Bryan Reynolds and rookie right-hander Paul Skenes, but staff ace Mitch Keller remains conspicuously absent from the National League roster.

For a brief moment, it felt like Keller's time may have come when former Pirates pitcher Tyler Glasnow became the latest All-Star pitcher to hit the injured list ahead of the Midsummer Classic after the Los Angeles Dodgers placed him on the 15-day IL with back tightness on Tuesday. The veteran right-hander, who leads the National League with 143 strikeouts, was set to make his All-Star Game debut in his ninth MLB season (his first with the Dodgers).

Major League Baseball was quick to announce, however, that Cincinnati's Hunter Greene – not Keller – would replace Glasnow on the National League roster.

Both Keller and Greene have 18 starts this season. The former is 10-5 with a 3.40 ERA, 102 strikeouts and a 1.22 WHIP, while the latter is 5-4 with a 3.45 ERA, 116 strikeouts and a 1.14 WHIP.

Keller's first-half numbers – with one start remaining before the break – are similar to last year, when he earned the first All-Star nod of his career alongside Pirates reliever David Bednar. At the 2023 All-Star break, he was 9-4 with a 3.31 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP through 19 starts. He registered 129 strikeouts and 34 walks in 117 innings and held opposing hitters to a .220 batting average.

Seriously, what more does this guy have to do to get to Dallas this year?

Keller shoved in dominant performance against New York Mets following All-Star snub

Keller expressed some disappointment when he learned that he had been left off the All-Star roster, but he claims there are no hard feelings.

“No, man. After yesterday, just flushed it. Nothing I can do about it,” Keller said via TRIB Live's Kevin Gorman. “Super happy for Paul and Reynolds. They both deserve it. So, yeah, I flushed it after yesterday. Had one day to be disappointed about it. … I mean, it sucks when you don’t get the chance to go, but there’s literally nothing I can do about it. Not gonna worry about it.”

Undoubtedly motivated by the snub, Keller let his work speak for itself on Monday in a dominant performance against the New York Mets that reminded us all why he is one of the top starters in baseball. In an eight-inning masterpiece, Keller allowed two runs on seven hits without a walk while recording six strikeouts to help Pittsburgh seal the 8-2 victory at PNC Park.

“That was an All-Star performance,” Pirates manager Shelton said after the game. “If that’s not an All-Star, I’m hard pressed to see what is.”