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Should Lucas Giolito get the starting nod over Justin Verlander in the All-Star Game?

Paul Sullivan, Chicago Tribune on

Published in Baseball

CHICAGO -- Now that it's clear Lucas Giolito will be one of the American League pitchers in next month's All-Star Game in Cleveland, the next question is obvious.

Should Giolito be given the starting nod over Justin Verlander?

"I don't know, man," Giolito said with a laugh Tuesday night at Guaranteed Rate Field. "You know, he's got a big track record. More people probably know who he is than me, so those things might play certain role. For me, I'm not there yet. I still have 'x' amount of starts left before the All-Star Game. I just want to continue to stick to my routine, stick to my plan and pitch how I've been pitching."

Truth be told, just being selected to the All-Star team would be an honor for Giolito, who endured some hard times last year in his first full season and entered the season as a major question mark.

He gave up more earned runs (118) and walks (90) than any major-league starter in 2018, but now he's 9-1 with a 2.28 ERA and an 0.92 WHIP. Over his last seven starts he's 7-0 with an 0.88 ERA, limiting opposing hitters to a .145 average.

He's not a household name like Verlander, and he doesn't play for a team that gets much national exposure. But if Giolito can keep this up he should receive consideration from American League manager Alex Cora.

 

"I've been asked about it a lot," Giolito said. "It's cool. For me, that's obviously been a lifelong dream of mine to be an All-Star in the big leagues. But in order to get there I have to perform, and I have to continue to perform well. So it's easy to just focus on that. I can only control what I control up to that moment."

Giolito has been doing his job, giving the Sox a chance to win every fifth day. He's been the one bright spot in the rotation, which has struggled with consistency.

They have the two highest ERAs among qualifying starters in Ivan Nova (6.28) and Reynaldo Lopez (6.21), and have lost Carlos Rodon for the season and released Ervin Santana in April.

The Sox have proven they can get close to .500, but eventually they keep falling back because one of the starters puts them in a hole or blows an early lead.

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