Schmidt An All-Star: Major Honor or Major Disaster

The middle of July not only marks the middle of the season, but it also marks the highly anticipated All-Star Game, where baseball greats from every team sends a player to represent their team in a game that's a show of "true" talents. However, at what price are we willing to risk our most important players in a game that really, when it comes down to the season, does not matter?

One of the most controversial issues surrounding the Giants this season has been Jason Schmidt's workload. There has not been a game in recent memory where the Giants' ace has not made over 100, heck, 110 pitches, and there has been instances where fans cringe and hope that Schmidt's arm wouldn't fall off during a stressful seventh, eighth, and/or ninth inning.

However, Schmidt is the ace of this pitching staff, and if we can't depend on him going deep into games to give our already overworked bullpen a breather, then who can do it? Schmidt certainly doesn't mind, and those one-hitters are sure exciting to watch, but in the long run, how will this effect his arm, especially after he makes the start for the last game of the first half, and is selected to the All-Star game?

The All-Star game is a joke for the most part, where players are selected due to their popularity amongst the fans. However, the pitchers are selected by managers, where there may be some more logic to the selections. That being said, Schmidt's selection to the All-Star team is, indeed, an honor, and his start in the Midsummer Classic last season definitely indicated that he was one of the best in the game.

But at what cost are we willing to showcase our most precious arm? That's right, it's a showcase. If Schmidt goes any more than one inning of work during this game, it would be too much, and that's when we can kiss our season goodbye. This is by no means underestimating Schmidt's ability to pitch, or his ability to do anything, because as we've seen him grow as a Giant, he has impressed us more than once.

However, after throwing over 120 pitches in his last start, then hopping on the plane to Houston to pitch another inning or so in two days is a lot of stress on any arm, even one as ironclad as Schmidt's. Granted, the Giants' have tweaked their rotation appropriately to give Schmidt some rest, but what about the All-Star game? Felipe Alou doesn't manage that game, and we all know that Schmidt won't walk up to Jack McKeon and ask for an easier workload, or to put him on a strict pitch count.

This subject has been beaten to death, debates about whether or not Schmidt's pitching too much or not. The All-Star game is indeed an honor for pitchers, and every pitcher going is a trooper. But how many of these pitchers pitched the last game of the first half for their team and went past 120?

So it's up to you. Would Schmidt's selection to this charade be another honor bestowed upon a great pitcher (a Cy Young would be nice), or would it be a complete disaster and put Schmidt on the road to surgery again? We'll just have to see, but in the meantime, enjoy this All-Star break and we'll take you out to the ballgame again in the second half!



Sara Kwan is a writer for SFDugout.com. Got a bone to pick? Just want to say hi? Hit me up: kwanchino@alpha-q.net.

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