How Many Milwaukee Brewers are All-Stars?


Prince Fielder & Ryan Braun

Besides Ryan Braun, who on the Milwaukee Brewers team is All-Star material this year?  Is Yovani Gallardo deserving of a pitching spot?  Does Corey Hart have a chance?  What would it mean for the man whose rough March and April has all but been forgotten?

“Anytime you make the team it’s good, but to basically just point a finger at the Brewers and say ‘I told you so’ would be more gratifying than anything,” says Hart, in a good-natured way.

The Brewers have had at least three players on the All-Star roster in each of the last four years.  However, the Milwaukee Brewers were playing baseball above the .500 mark during all four seasons.

By: Melissa S. Wollering

Playing 7.5 games below .500 prior to Monday, Hart acknowledges there is a drastic difference in this year’s winning percentage compared to years past. Still, he thinks the caliber of talent on the team is as quality as ever.

“Obviously Braun and I would say Casey [McGehee] is worthy,” says Hart.  “I mean you’ve got Yovani [Gallardo], who is I would say is one of the best pitchers in baseball.  Then you’ve got Rickie who can make it so you got five guys right there, including myself who have a good shot, so you never know.”

In 2009, Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder and Trevor Hoffman made the All Star roster. But the team was playing two games above .500 at the time. Prince Fielder also hit the most RBI’s in the majors that season with 141.
Ryan Braun
In 2008, Ryan Braun, Corey Hart and Ben Sheets traveled to the old Yankee Stadium in New York. That season, Doug Melvin traded four prospects including Matt LaPorta to the Cleveland Indians for CC Sabathia. The Brewers went into the All Star break with a 52-43 record, third behind only the Cubs and Cardinals. Ben Sheets was named starting pitcher for the NL and Corey Hart was named to the team in the Final Vote after the Brewers organization and fans launched a strong campaign for the cause in late-June.

In 2007, the Milwaukee Brewers sent four players to the All Star game including Prince Fielder, JJ Hardy, Ben Sheets and Francisco Cordero.  It was a great season; two of those four players marked major MLB milestones. Prince Fielder hit the most home runs of the season that year with 50 and Francisco Cordero clocked most saves that season with 44. The Milwaukee Brewers also had the best record in the majors at one point that season, were 14 games over .500 twice and led the division by as many as 8½ games on June 23.

Lastly, in 2006, the Milwaukee Brewers sent Carlos Lee, Derrick Turnbow and Chris Capuano as the team climbed to one game above .500 before the All Star break. Prior to the 2006 season, the Brewers had not sent more than two players to a Midsummer Classic since Robin Yount, Ted Simmons, Cecil Cooper and Ben Oglivie represented the club in 1983.

Ryan Braun is on track to make his third straight start by a Brewers player in an All Star Game, a feat never done before in team history. Braun is the leading vote getter in the National League outfield with 1,816,052 votes as of Tuesday.  Braun’s total ranks him third overall behind the Cardinals Albert Pujols and Chase Utley of the Phillies.

Corey Hart’s bat may be burning a hole in the minds of fans, but the NL home runs leader believes making the All Star roster would also, and perhaps more importantly, help him prove himself to the Brewers organization.

“As down as I was with the fans and this organization, is as determined as I was to get out of that slump,” says Hart.  “It would be nice to make the All Star roster for that reason.”
Corey Hart’s wife has also played a huge role in the rightfielder’s return-to-good, telling him to celebrate when appropriate and use the excitement as fuel for more fire at the plate.

“My wife is my biggest supporter, so it’s nice to have her. She challenges me and she pushes me but she never lets me get down on myself. Dale [Sveum] and Ed [Sedar] have been two of my biggest supporters this season, too. Those guys have been on me and fighting from day one to try to get me to play how I feel I should play, and play how they feel I should play.”

Corey Hart was not on the All Star ballot this year because he was not a starter on April 5. Macha had intended to create a platoon-of-sorts with Hart and Jim Edmonds. Jim Edmonds actually started in right field on Opening Day against the Colorado Rockies.

“Coming from where I was [earlier this season] to being able to show the Brewers that I’m worthy of an All-Star vote, I think that’s more important to me than making it,” says Hart.  “Personally, you want to make it just for that reason, actually.”

Hart doesn’t want to think too far ahead but says the Home Run Derby would be a great compliment to his 18 home run hot streak. He is, of course, just hoping to make the team one way or another to prove himself and prove the overall talent of his team.

“It shows what kind of team we have with the way we played early; that we’re playing better baseball,” says Hart.  “We still have those kind of quality guys on the team that can still make the run [for an All Star spot] aggressive.”

“I think we have a lot of talent in this clubhouse,” says Yovani Gallardo. “It’s obviously the more guys the better for us so we’re all pushing for it. We’ll see how it goes.”
Yovani Gallardo
Gallardo is making a strong case for himself, pitching lights-out in several games this season.  Gallardo collected his eighth career outing with ten or more strikeouts on Thursday, finishing with one dozen K’s, tying his career high.  Gallardo’s third career complete game and second career shutout propelled the Brewers to a fourth straight victory, matching a season high. Offensively underestimated right now, Gallardo is also fifth all-time among Brewer pitchers with 28 career hits.

“I think for anyone in here, it is a privilege to have that opportunity,’ says Gallardo.  “We are all cheering for each other so we’ll see how it pans out.”

Gallardo has a 1.54 ERA in five starts in the month of June. Overall, Gallardo is 7-3 with a 2.36 ERA. That currently puts him in sixth place among NL pitchers in the ERA race, which is pretty good when you look at some of the ERA’s this season. Gallardo’s 2.36 ERA is the lowest by a Brewer after 72 games since Teddy Higuera in 1988.

MLB players vote for five starters and three relievers for each all-star staff, with the remainder of the pitchers selected by the managers and MLB officials. As rules go, every team must have at least one player on each squad.

Another Milwaukee Brewer who made a case for himself early in the season was Casey McGehee.  McGehee lead the league in RBI’s at one point this season and has now tapered off holding steady at 50. He’s now hitting in the .260’s and, at one point, was considered to be slumping as of late. Still, some of his work has hinted at an All Star berth.

In addition to members of the team making an aggressive and convincing case to be in Anaheim, Hart says Milwaukee Brewers’ recent rally to win as many games as possible prior to the break and nudge above .500 is very, very real.

“We know that guys could be traded away or things could change and we want to stay together, we like playing together,” says Hart. “It’s nice to have right now where they can see we can change and we can turn it around.  We have a good club, it’s just time to put it together. It’s a good time to do it now.”

Melissa S. Wollering is Brewers beat writer and also a contributing writer to the Fox Sports staff.

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