CHICAGO — The big three at the back end of the Yankees bullpen has been as advertised, and two of its three members — Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances — will be in San Diego for the All-Star Game as a result.
That comes as no surprise.
Carlos Beltran will join them and good luck finding anyone before the season who thought that was a strong possibility.
Beltran’s career, of course, very well could land him in the Hall of Fame, but few saw the kind of season the 39-year-old has produced.
Coming into Tuesday night, Beltran, in the final season of a three-year, $45-million deal, has been the Yankees’ offensive MVP, posting a .296/.337/.567 slash line, with a team-best 19 homers and 53 RBIs.
“I think we have some guys that deserve a shot at it,” Joe Girardi said before the game and before MLB announced the rosters.
Closer Aroldis Chapman was also a candidate, posting a 2.86 ERA while going 16-for-17 in saves and striking out 33 batters in 22 innings, but might have been hurt by missing the first month of the season, suspended under MLB’s domestic abuse policy.
Miller, 31, who has a 1.47 ERA in 36 appearances, striking out 66 in 36 2⁄3 innings, earned his first All-Star bid.
Betances, 28, named to his third straight All-Star Game, has a 2.63 ERA in a team-high 41 appearances. He’s struck out 74 in 41 innings.
Speaking before the game, Girardi said he did some lobbying on behalf of several of his players, though he didn’t specify to whom, other than to say he did not talk with AL manager Ned Yost of the Royals.
He mentioned the three relievers, as well as Beltran and Didi Gregorius. Girardi said All-Star managers don’t have it easy.
“Ned’s in a tough spot,” said Girardi, who managed the AL All-Stars in 2010. “I always feel that players are left off that should be on. I always felt that they should expand the rosters even more than they do. I also feel that you should have the re-entry rule. I think everyone should get to play. If someone gets hurt, you can re-enter a guy. I mean it has to be a legitimate injury, but there’s things I’d like to see changed.”