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UNC Baseball: Zac Gallen named to All-MLB First Team

The Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher had a season to remember. Let’s just forget about the World Series. This award does.

Syndication: Arizona Republic Joe Rondone/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

Diamond Heels alum and current Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Zac Gallen was selected to the 2023 All-MLB First Team.

Five starting pitchers were selected for this honor, and were chosen by a 50/50 split panel of baseball experts and fans. Voters were told to only consider performance in the regular season when casting their ballots.

Gallen is joined on the All-MLB First Team by Gerrit Cole (Yankees), Blake Snell (Padres), Shohei Ohtani (Angels, for now), and Spencer Strider (Braves). The All-MLB Second Team starting pitchers were Kevin Gausman (Blue Jays), Sonny Gray (Twins), Kyle Bradish (Orioles), and Sonny Gray and Nathan Eovaldi (Rangers).

Zac Gallen had an outstanding 2022 season, and stepped up his usage in a big way. He had career highs in starts (34), innings pitched (210), and strikeouts (220). He finished the regular season with a 17-9 record and 3.47 ERA, good enough to finish third in National League Cy Young voting. Gallen also started for the National League All-Star team this year in Seattle.

It is a relief that the All-MLB teams are decided on just regular season stats, as Gallen did get touched up a bit in postseason play. After comfortable wins against the Brewers in the NL Wild Card Series and the Dodgers in the NL Division Series, he lost all four starts in the NL Championship Series and World Series.

Against the Phillies, he averaged an ERA of 7.50. In the World Series, Texas only scored four earned runs against Gallen, but the Diamondbacks didn’t provide any run support.

Gallen has taken on a heavier load in each of his five-and-a-half seasons in Arizona. Expect nothing less as the Diamondbacks look to make it back to the postseason in consecutive seasons for the first time since 2001-2002.

See ya later, Big Grits.