Gio Urshela will not be voted in as the starting third baseman in this year’s All-Star Game. But make no mistake, he is the Yankee’s All-Star.
Gio Urshela can only look at who’s ahead of him on the 2021 All-Star ballot to see clear favorites like Rafael Devers, Yoan Moncada, and Alex Bregman swooping up the votes while he collects a few here and there and is relegated to sixth place in the voting.
It reminded me of Keith Hernandez in 1977 when he was putting together an excellent year at first base for the Cardinals, only to find himself in contention with Steve Garvey, Willie Stargell, and the “Hit King,” Pete Rose.
Quickly, Hernadez realized it would take a Batting Title to have a breakthrough.
With Gio Urshela, It Hardly Matters
But why make a play for Urshela, batting only .268 with eight home runs and 29 RBI and a very pedestrian .745 OPS?
See, in this case, it has nothing to do with numbers,
Instead, it has everything to do with a Yankees’ team this year in search of a rock – someone who shows up every day ready to play, contributing both offensively and defensively on a consistent basis.
That’s been Gio Urshela.
Today, for example, Gio Urshela went two for four with an RBI single and a home run to help ice a win over the red hot Oakland A’s, snapping their eight-game win streak.
Buried in the Box Score, behind the perfect day by Giancarlo Stanton and the 11th home run by a resurgent Gary Sanchez, Gio Urshela put in a good day’s work, and the Yankees know it.
Gone are the days when there was still a chance the Yankees would trade Urshela away in favor of Miguel Andujar, who, despite his deficiencies at third base, wielded one of the big bats the Yankees needed in their anemic run-scoring lineup.
And while it would be crazy to put out a “Vote Gia Urshela” push to Yankees fans on this year’s All-Star Ballot, he is, as we know, our best-kept secret.
A manager can ask a player to show up every day and ready to play wherever (I) need you today.
On days when Gleyber Torres needs a blow or has backslid in the field again, Aaron Boone has not hesitated to move Gio Urshela to shortstop, where he has played seven games while making only one miscue.
It all adds up to one thing. Somewhere along the line, Gio Urshela needs to be recognized for what he is, whether it be in this year’s All-Star Game as a last-minute pick as a fill-in for a player who opts out or is injured.
And, the Yankees need to be lobbying (now) with Kevin Cash, who may have the final say for the AL 2021 All-Star Roster constitution.
Gio Urshela As The Heart Of The Yankees
Not to belabor the point, but it’s players like Gio Urshela who constitute the “heart” of the roster of any major league team.
Yadier Molina, for instance, might be old and gray and hitting at or near the Mendoza Line, but he is the propeller that makes the St. Louis Cardinals go.
DJ LeMahieu has the same qualities, and the Yankees can only hope those line drives he’s been hitting lately turn into base hits, setting the table for Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Gary Sanchez to follow.
But still, it’s “Ole Reliable” Gio Urshela, much like his namesake Tommy Heinrich, collecting those one and two-base hit games that pile up to a season that says – “Hey, where would we be without him”?
Here’s What Readers Are Saying…
Hubie Mercado He won the game.
James Eric Knowles No, no he’s not. Aaron Judge has flat out been the Yankees best, most important, and most valuable player no matter what straws you want to grasp at the claim Gio is.
John Pannone Yes he is
Mark Lazarus He is the bomb – the awesome player – love him
Steve Kenyon Gio has my vote
Ronnie Price Best third baseman in major league
Kevin Durocher Should at least make the team. Not a better fielder.
Matthew DePeri No one plays the game harder than Gio. He is a true ball player! I’m a big fan.
JoseLuis Carrasquillo He will be there ooo yes
Stephen Guardino Gio is a throwback. Reminds me of the guys we had in the last dynasty. Excellent player
James Calvagno That would be a crime there isn’t a better 3b in today’s game
Tracie Lee Shaughnessy If he isn’t a Gold Glove winner I don’t know what is….a lot reminiscent of another great Yankee..Greg Nettles
Linda Brescia Travesty! He is an all star!