ESPN's early All-Star projections have one Yankees star returning after long gap

New York Yankees v Los Angeles Dodgers
New York Yankees v Los Angeles Dodgers / Harry How/GettyImages

Since the summer of 2019 (excepting the cancellation of the 2020 All-Star Game), the Yankees' place in the voting (and on the roster) has alternated between being wildly bizarre and somewhat robotic.

Remember 2019? Gleyber Torres made the team! Gary Sánchez! Masahiro Tanaka! The voting body decided to be interesting, and allowed several standout Yankees to get their days in the sun. But, in 2021 ... Aaron Judge started. Of course. Gerrit Cole made the roster. Of course. Aroldis Chapman did, too. That seemed to be a near-guarantee during his tenure in pinstripes. "Star power," right? Never mind the Chapman experience. He was an All-Star, pencil him in there.

2022? Things got wacky again. Jose Trevino? Nestor Cortes?! Clay Holmes?!? Michael King among the summer's top snubs? The baseball world decided to appreciate the Yankees uncovering several stars, and we thank them for it.

Unfortunately, that means 2023 is lining up to be relatively standard fare. All-Star voting for this summer's game in Seattle opened a few weeks back, and while Yankee fans can somewhat dictate their fate, they're also at the mercy of player ballots and manager whims. According to ESPN's early projections, the Yankees are going to have a fairly standard summer -- with, potentially, one nice exception.

Aaron Judge? He's making the club. Gerrit Cole? Yeah, almost definitely. And that's probably it ... unless we all vote like hell to get Anthony Rizzo to the All-Star Game over Yandy Diaz for the first baseman's first appearance in the game since 2016.

First base is a crowded position. It always is, which has harmed Rizzo's chances since the title-winning Cubs season seven years ago. Maybe we need some help? Maybe it's time to ... call on the Swifties?

Yankees MLB All-Star Voting: Get Anthony Rizzo on the roster.

Rizzo has fallen off his own elite pace slightly over the past few weeks, surely not helped by the high-velocity impact with Fernando Tatis Jr.'s awkward slide that caused a neck injury.

Regardless, his current 132 OPS+, .840 OPS, .289 average and 11 bombs merit inclusion on the Midsummer Classic roster -- though, yes, Diaz is probably your starter. It might just be easier to vote, vote, vote for Rizzo rather than leaving things up to chance, especially considering everyone inside the locker room loves and respects the Rays and will make sure Diaz gets his due.

Come on, Yankee fans. Mobilize. Our stars won't be making much of an impact in Seattle unless you spring into action.