Fans of the Atlanta Braves can finally rejoice! Austin Riley is no longer the biggest All-Star Game snub of the year. The Braves slugger has now been added to the National League roster as a replacement for Nolan Arenado of the St. Louis Cardinals.
Riley didn’t make the All-Star lineup via fan-balloting. He was previously overlooked by the MLB when announcing a replacement for the injured Bryce Harper.
That decision wasn’t well received by fans and highlighted a flawed All-Star selection process. Riley is an MVP candidate whose current slash line reads .282/.345/.568. He has 26 homers to his name in 2022 — the second-most this season.
However, Arenado’s decision to withdraw due to a sore shoulder presented the MLB committee with another chance to right their wrong. At long last, Austin Riley is an All-Star.
The Braves now have more reason to celebrate. It’s the first time since 2011 that Atlanta is headed to the Midsummer Classic with five representatives. Well, make it six now.
Riley will be joined by his teammates Ronald Acuna Jr., William Contreras, Travis d’Arnaud, Dansby Swanson, and Max Fried.
Ahead of the Braves’ game against the Washington Nationals, Riley expressed his gratitude on being finally recognized as an All-Star.
“Definitely excited. That’s about as plain and simple as you can put it… It’s something that you look forward to and try to accomplish, and to be going, I’m super thankful” - Austin Riley
Riley couldn’t contain his delight.
MLB Twitter is absolutely buzzing for Austin Riley
If the support for a decision is unanimous, then it’s obviously the correct one. Not just Braves fans, but fans of the MLB in general are absolutely delighted for Austin Riley.
Based on his performance since his breakout 2021, an All-Star call-up has been long overdue.
League commissioner Rob Manfred and the MLB committee as a whole had come under fire for Riley's snub. With Riley’s long overdue inclusion official, some faith in the governing body may now be restored.
The outpouring of love and support for Riley continued, and it’s heartwarming to see.
Riley isn’t the only last-minute change to the NL All-Star line-up. Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Tyler Anderson replaced the San Francisco Giants’ Carlos Rodon. San Diego Padres second baseman Jake Cronenworth also replaced the Miami Marlins’ Jazz Chisholm Jr.