Paul Blackburn considered Oakland A’s most deserving All Star

Absolutely no one could have seen the Paul Blackburn Redemption Arc coming. This likely includes Blackburn and the Oakland A’s themselves.

And yet, as we enter summer, Blackburn has been far and away the A’s best player. His 3.0 bWAR more than doubles Cole Irvin in second. He has gone from an afterthought to an intriguing trade chip should the A’s decide to put him on the block.

Paul Blackburn could be Oakland A’s All Star representative

His impressive season is being noticed in other circles as well. MLB.com has selected Blackburn as the A’s most deserving All Star representative, saying that he would be in line for the Most Improved Player Award if such an honor existed in the league.

It is easy to see why Blackburn would be so highly thought of this year. He has posted a 2.26 ERA and a 1.074 WHiP in his 71.2 innings entering Tuesday, striking out 51 batters with 17 walks. Blackburn has already set personal records for strikeouts, wins, innings, and appearances; his six wins on the season doubling his major league total from his previous five years.

At the same time, it is fair to wonder whether or not Blackburn can continue this degree of success. He has never thrown more than 143.2 innings in any season, including his time in the minors. It is entirely possible that fatigue will set in over the second half of the season, skewing his final numbers.

Even if that happens, it will not change what has been a surprising season for Blackburn. He is showing that he belongs in the majors and can be a part of the A’s future. While he may not continue to pitch at a top of the rotation level, he could be a solid middle of the rotation arm now that he has gotten his chance.

Paul Blackburn has been one of the Oakland A’s biggest surprises this season. His strong showing could result in an appearance in the All Star Game.