Ƶ

MILWAUKEE BREWERS

Here are the biggest major-league all-star game snubs in Milwaukee Brewers history

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The Milwaukee Brewers were granted two starters in Christian Yelich and William Contreras for the 2024 All-Star Game, but that doesn't mean it feels like the team got a fair shake.

Second baseman Brice Turang was left off the initial rosters announced Sunday, even though he's one of the 10 best players in baseball, according to Baseball Reference's wins-above-replacement metric, and he lost out to Luis Arraez, who has seldom played second base since getting traded from Miami to San Diego early in the season.

This year's showcase in Arlington, Texas, starts at 7 p.m. Tuesday, and there's still time between then and now for changes to the roster as players drop out, primarily because of injury.

More:Seven observations from a road trip with the Milwaukee Brewers, from the field to the clubhouse

These are some of the more notable Brewers all-star game snubs throughout history:

Mike Caldwell of the Milwaukee Brewers doffed his cap to appreciative fans in 1978 as he headed for the dugout after beating the Oakland A's for his 21st victory, a club record, in the Brewers' final home game of the year.

Mike Caldwell (1978)

Caldwell was a driving force for the 1978 Brewers, logging a 2.61 earned-run average and 11 complete games midway through the season for a team that had arisen into contender status for the first time. But he'd been limited to a 9-5 record despite the strong showing, which included a 1.112 WHIP (walks and hits per innings pitched). Caldwell shared the league lead in complete games and was fifth in innings pitched while ninth in ERA.

"I wanted to make the team," Caldwell said at the time. "I think I have been as consistent as anyone in the league this year, with the exception of (Ron) Guidry. I think I was 3-2 in June and I can't remember having a bad game. But that's baseball. You can't turn the record around. It's just that I'm getting old. I've been around seven years now and I'd like to be called an All-Star sometime."

He never made an all-star team.

Sixto Lezcano had a strong case to make the 1978 All-Star Game.

Sixto Lezcano (1978)

He was never an all-star, but in 1978 he was still 24 years old and a five-year major-league veteran about to crush it for the next two seasons. He finished with an .837 OPS (on-base plus slugging) in 1978 (a far cry from his 1979 final total of .987), but his first half in 1978 was the better of the two, with a .950 OPS and .399 on-base percentage. He didn't drive in a ton of runs (39) and didn't have the same numbers of his outfield colleague, Larry Hisle, who did make the all-star team. Though Don Money and Lary Sorensen also both made the team that year, Lezcano and Caldwell were both observing from afar.

Mike Fetters

Mike Fetters (1992)

Fetters had a 0.84 ERA in 22 games going into the all-star break that season, with a 4-1 record and 0.742 WHIP even without killer strikeout numbers (22 in 32 innings). Batters hit just .154 against him. But in an era where closers were the only relievers truly expected to make all-star rosters, Fetters' role as a setup man wasn't taken seriously in all-star candidacy. He had just one save, and Paul Molitor was chosen as the team's only all-star representative.

Kevin Seitzer (right) gets a high five from B.J. Surhoff after a home run at Milwaukee County Stadium.

Kevin Seitzer (1996)

The Brewers third baseman had a sensational first half in his final year with the organization, with a .965 OPS and .446 on-base percentage. He had been an all-star in 1995 but didn't get the same consideration in the follow-up year, perhaps explained by a relatively low RBI total (44), and the Brewers were struggling to the point that one all-star was the most likely outcome.

Outfielder Greg Vaughn received that honor, in the midst of his own excellent first half, with a .952 OPS and an eye-popping 24 home runs and 75 RBIs. Detroit's Travis Fryman, also a third baseman, was chosen as the Tigers' required representative, making it harder for Seitzer to make the team.

Seitzer would be traded to Cleveland later that season in a deal that worked out for Milwaukee; Jeromy Burnitz, the player who came to the Brewers in the exchange, would spend five more seasons in Milwaukee and get named as an injury replacement in the starting lineup of the 1999 all-star game.

Milwaukee Brewers' Lyle Overbay doubles in the eighth inning against the Montreal Expos Wednesday May 12, 2004.

Lyle Overbay (2004)

The popular first baseman never made an all-star team in his career, but it wasn't for lack of trying in 2004. In his first year with the Brewers after the blockbuster Richie Sexson trade, Overbay led the league with 53 doubles (a mark still tied for most in franchise history) and posted an .863 OPS for the year, with a .301 batting average.

He was at his best in the first half, with a .962 OPS and a superb .344 batting average, including 10 homers and 62 RBIs. The only problem is that the National League was teeming with great first basemen, including Albert Pujols, Todd Helton and Jim Thome. Reds first baseman Sean Casey had been unreal as well, with a 1.008 OPS and 15 home runs, though he was placed on the injured list right after selection and didn't play in the game.

Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo pitches to Pittsburgh in the first inning of their game Wednesday, April, 29, 2009.

Yovani Gallardo (2009)

Gallardo ultimately got his due (and lone all-star appearance) in 2010, but though his numbers were nearly identical in the first half to his 2009 showing, the slightly better year didn't lead to an all-star nod. Gallardo had a 3.22 ERA (sixth-best in the NL) in 114 innings, with 123 strikeouts (fifth in the NL) and a 1.230 WHIP, all coming off a serious knee injury. The Brewers were already represented by Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder and Trevor Hoffman, and two teams sent pitchers as lone representatives, including Cincinnati (Francisco Cordero) and the Chicago Cubs (Ted Lilly).

Milwaukee Brewers' Shaun Marcum pitches against the Pittsburgh Pirates' at Miller Park, Sunday, August 14, 2011.

Shaun Marcum (2011)

Marcum's career in Milwaukee may be tied to his forgettable showing in the 2011 playoffs, making it easy to forget how good he was during the regular season. Acquired in the offseason for prospect Brett Lawrie, he had a 3.39 ERA over 19 starts in the first half, with a 1.128 WHIP and a .223 opponent batting average. The Brewers had higher-profile starters like Zack Greinke and Yovani Gallardo, and Milwaukee was already heavily represented in the showcase with three starters (Prince Fielder, Rickie Weeks, Ryan Braun).

Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Jimmy Nelson (52) throws a pitch in the first inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Miller Park in 2017.

Jimmy Nelson (2017)

Nelson lingers in Brewers history as a haunting what-if after he injured his shoulder diving back into first base later that year. Midway through the season, he was a budding star, posting a 3.30 ERA while striking out more than a batter per inning, plus a walk rate that had dropped to 6.2 percent. He'd started slowly in April, but by the season's midpoint, he had 118 strikeouts to just 27 walks, an 8-4 record and a 1.25 WHIP.

More:The best players in Milwaukee Brewers history who were never all-stars