Monday, July 8, 2013

Initial All-Star Reactions

Hey baseball fans, it's almost time for the All-Star break, and with the teams being announced yesterday, I know you all probably have your opinion and who made it and who got snubbed. The All-Star selections are great; mostly just because it contains 3 different votes. The fans vote the starters, the players vote guys in, as do the managers. 

 For you baseball pessimists, this gives you the opportunity to hate on everyone baseball related (except for the media, but we hate on them enough). Throughout the following week, Wade, Chris, and I will be posting what our All-Star teams look like so you'll get your chance to pick us apart. But for now, lets dig a little deeper to see what I think (Hint: It's not all good)


First off, here are the players on both squads (courtesy of MLB.com)



AMERICAN LEAGUE


Starting lineup (chosen by fans):

C:   Joe Mauer, Twins
1B: Chris Davis, Orioles
2B: Robinson Cano, Yankees
3B: Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
SS: J.J. Hardy, Orioles
OF: Adam Jones, Orioles
OF: Mike Trout, Angels
OF: Jose Bautista, Blue Jays
DH: David Ortiz, Red Sox

Reserves:

C: Jason Castro, Astros
C: Salvador Perez, Royals
1B: Prince Fielder, Tigers
1B: Edwin Encarnacion, Blue Jays
2B: Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox
2B: Jason Kipnis, Indians
3B: Manny Machado, Orioles
INF: Ben Zobrist, Rays
SS: Jhonny Peralta, Tigers
OF: Torii Hunter, Tigers
OF: Nelson Cruz, Rangers
OF: Alex Gordon, Royals

Pitchers:

Max Scherzer, Tigers
Felix Hernandez, Mariners
Clay Buchholz, Red Sox
Yu Darvish, Rangers
Hisashi Iwakuma, Mariners
Bartolo Colon, Athletics
Justin Verlander, Tigers
Justin Masterson, Indians
Chris Sale, White Sox
Mariano Rivera, Yankees
Jesse Crain, White Sox
Joe Nathan, Rangers
Glen Perkins, Twins
Brett Cecil, Blue Jays


NATIONAL LEAGUE


Starting lineup (chosen by fans):
C: Yadier Molina, Cardinals
1B: Joey Votto, Reds
2B: Brandon Phillips, Reds
3B: David Wright, Mets
SS: Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies
OF: Carlos Beltran, Cardinals
OF: Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies
OF: Bryce Harper, Nationals

Reserves:
C: Buster Posey, Giants
1B: Allen Craig, Cardinals
1B: Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks
2B: Matt Carpenter, Cardinals
2B: Marco Scutaro, Giants
SS: Everth Cabrera, Padres
SS: Jean Segura, Brewers
3B: Pedro Alvarez, Pirates
OF: Michael Cuddyer, Rockies
OF: Andrew McCutchen, Pirates
OF: Carlos Gomez, Brewers
OF: Domonic Brown, Phillies

Pitchers:
Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers
Adam Wainwright, Cardinals
Patrick Corbin, Diamondbacks
Cliff Lee, Phillies
Matt Harvey, Mets
Madison Bumgarner, Giants
Jordan Zimmermann, Nationals
Jeff Locke, Pirates
Travis Wood, Cubs
Jose Fernandez, Marlins
Craig Kimbrel, Braves
Jason Grilli, Pirates
Aroldis Chapman, Reds


American League

For the most part, Jim Leyland did a pretty good job here filling out his squad.  The main problem I have is ONLY ONE OAKLAND ATHLETIC!!!  The A's won their division last year and are in first place so far this year, behind strong performances from guys like Jed Lowrie, Josh Donaldson, and Grant Balfour.  All three deserve consideration, but to me it's a travesty that Balfour and Donaldson did not make the squad. 



As flawed of a stat as saves is, Balfour is PERFECT so far this year and Donaldson is 5th in the AL in OPS behind only Miguel Cabrera, Chris Davis, David Ortiz, and Mike Trout.  I have no problem trying to win this game, but in what world has Ben Zobrist been an All-Star this year!?!  This is a clear case of him being named for his versatility and not for his body of work.   Chris might hate me for this, but a couple of Tigers are on this list over other players that are more deserving, and those guys are Torii Hunter and Verlander.  Hunter is a class act and is having a nice year, but I don't think he should be there and Verlander is one of the best in baseball, but his season does not scream All-Star to me. My last problem with the AL Ballot is the final man vote.   Five set-up men, really Jim Leyland?These guys are all having solid years, but take the best available pitcher, starter or reliever and quit trying to over manage an All-Star game.


National League


I think there are fewer snubs on the NL side of things, but that doesn't mean I completely agree with all the selections. The one name that stands out here to me is Marco Scutaro. Scutaro is a nice player, and he is very valuable to the Giants, but he is not an All-Star this year. Look at the season guys like Starling Marte are having and tell me if Scutaro has been better or not. Other than Scutaro, I think all of the NL names are pretty deserving, so this NL story will be much shorter than the AL. 

 The main guy I have a problem with being left off this roster is Pirates reliever Mark Melancon. The guy is having an absolutely incredible season and if non-closers Brett Cecil and Jesse Crain can make the club on the AL side, how could Bruce Bochy not find a spot for the absolutely dominant Melancon. The hard throwing righty has been part of the best 8th and 9th inning duo for one of the best teams in baseball and he has pitched his way into All-Star consideration.

 (Hint: When my team comes out this week, he'll surely be on there)


Final Vote


I already shared my problems with the AL final vote, but I love some of the names on the NL side. Here are the final vote candidates for both teams:


American League:
Joaquin Benoit, Tigers
Steve Delabar, Blue Jays
David Robertson, Yankees
Tanner Scheppers, Rangers
Koji Uehara, Red Sox


National League:
Yasiel Puig, Dodgers
Ian Desmond, Nationals
Adrian Gonzalez, Dodgers
Freddie Freeman, Braves
Hunter Pence, Giants

For the AL, I have to go with Koji Uehara. Uehara has five saves, which is 2nd most in this group, but the number that stands out most to me is a .83 WHIP. That is absolutely insane, and is well below the rest of the names in this group.

For the NL, a lot of people are gonna vote Puig, but to me, he has only played one-third of the season and that is not enough to be an All-Star, end of discussion. Desmond and Gonzalez are very deserving, but the name I love here is Freddie Freeman. I don't love him as much as Wade does, but the guy hits for a high average, can take his walks, and definitely has some pop. 

 Freeman is one of the best young players in the National League and he is the name I have to take from this list.



I hope you all enjoyed this little All-Star team review. As always, don't forget to like us on Facebook and to follow us on Twitter. If you felt certain players were snubbed, don't hesitate to share it with us.