Thursday, July 11, 2013

My All-Star Roster: Chris

Chris's All-Star Roster

All-Star week is coming up fast and we've got to take a look at what Wade and Tommy would do if they could pick their own All-Star rosters the past two days. Now it's my turn and before we jump into what I would do if I could choose, I need to clarify what my criteria for selecting players will be: 



A. Worthiness  Obviously we don't want to watch rosters filled with the Nick Punto's and the Scott Downs of the league.  But when we leave the starting lineup to a "fan vote" in a game full of fans that still think Derek Jeter is awesome, we occasionally have problems.  I've already highlighted why I think voting for the All Star Game sucks   As fans, we want to watch the stars play.  Of course, when you leave part of a roster subject to the vote of fans you also get people like this:



This is a man who lives with his mother in Philadelphia and and he will spend all day creating fake Yahoo e-mails to allow him to vote for Chase Utley 2 million times, thus offsetting your lone vote for Brandon Phillips.

And of course, different beat writers, managers, players and fans will have different criteria as to what constitutes as "good" which throws off everything again when the rest of the roster is decided by players and the AL/NL manager.    


I'm a big fan of advanced statistics and sabermetrics, but I don't discount the "traditional" stats either.  Except for pitching wins.  That shit is garbage.  So I guess you could call me a hybrid.

My other criteria is...


B. Star Attraction Okay, I get it.  I spend a whole paragraph bashing fans but then I argue that to an extent, the All-Star game is about who the fans want to see.  Sorry Derek Holland, you're having a fine year, but the fans would rather watch Verlander pump 101 mph fastballs into Salvador Perez's mitt.  There's a fine line though, and I'm not going as far to include Pujols over Freeman using this criteria, but at the end of the day, if the stats are close enough, I'll go with the guy that fans would rather see. 

C. Do I like him?  Definitely the most subjective of my own criteria and fortunately there weren't a whole lot of scenarios this year where I had to put this into play.  But if for example, this year Alex Rodriguez was putting up better numbers than Josh Donaldson, I'd still pick Donaldson because you know how I feel about the Yankees.  Heck, I'd probably put Nick Punto in over A-Rod.  

With that being said, let's get started.  


AMERICAN LEAGUE
                                                               
Starters


C: Joe Mauer, Twins
1B: Chris Davis, Orioles
2B: Jason Kipnis, Indians
3B: Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
SS: Jhonny Peralta, Tigers
OF: Mike Trout, Angels
OF: Adam Jones, Orioles
OF: Nelson Cruz, Rangers
DH: Edwin Encarnacion, Blue Jays
SP: Yu Darvish

Reserves

C: Jason Castro, Astros
C: Carlos Santana, Indians
2B: Robinson Cano, Yankees
2B: Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox
SS: Yunel Escobar, Rays 
3B: Josh Donaldson, A's
3B: Manny Machado, Orioles
3B: Evan Longoria, Rays
OF: Jose Bautista, Blue Jays
OF: Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox
OF: Alex Gordon, Royals
DH: David Ortiz


Pitchers

Felix Herandez, Mariners
Hisashi Iwakuma, Mariners
Max Scherzer, Tigers
Justin Verlander, Tigers
Chris Sale, White Sox
James Shields, Royals
Grant Balfour, A's
Greg Holland, Royals
Glen Perkins, Twins
Mariano Rivera, Yankees
Jessie Crain, White Sox
Brett Cecil, Blue Jays



A few things you may be wondering, that I'll take this time to answer.  If you're wondering about Carlos Santana and no Salvador Perez, well, Carlos has been much better offensively.  I could go into a bunch of stats but at the end of the day, Santana's OPS is almost 80 points higher.. Santana also has more home runs (10 to 4) and RBI (38 to 36).  I'd probably put Perez over Castro, but I need to take a f------g Astro so Castro's in.

I solved the glut at second and third base in the AL by simply not solving it.  I can't justify leaving Machado, Donaldson or Longoria off my roster so what the hell?  Put them all in.  I suppose if I was actually managing, I could always insert Machado at his natural position at shortstop.  At second base, the biggest problem was not who to include but who should start.  Dustin Pedroia and Jason Kipnis are running neck and neck in WAR with Pedroia's defense making up for Kipnis's better numbers at the plate.  Given the volatility of defensive metrics, I'll go with Kipnis. Robbie Cano is still good enough to have a "down year" and still be a lock.   

Some of you may wonder why I included Yunel Escobar rather than JJ Hardy at shortstop, but I think players that hold down the most important defensive position deserve some recognition.  Yes, Hardy has the Gold Gloves but this season Escobar's fielding %, OOZ and UZR are all better and at the plate, his .301 wOBA and 94 wRC+ are only slightly worse than Hardy (at .313 and 98, respectively).  Someone who has 15 home runs in 91 games should be at least a league average hitter.  

I simply had to include Ellsbury and , as much as I love Torii Hunter and Prince Fielder, they haven't been better than the guys I've got in their place.  So call me a homer now, bitches.  

For pitching, I put on Balfour because he's been the most dominant closer in baseball this year and James Shields shouldn't suffer because he teammates hate him by giving him the worst run support despite All-Star numbers everywhere else.  I left off Buchholz because if I was going to include a pitcher that has pitched in only 84.1 innings, I'd have to also include Anibal Sanchez, who has the second best strikeout rate in the league and better FIP and SIERA than Buchholz.  

These saber-ey stats are the same reason Matt Moore didn't make it and Brett Cecil did.  I also put in Justin Verlander because F--- YOU! 


  NATIONAL LEAGUE
                                                                    
Starters


C: Yadier Molina
1B: Paul Goldschmidt
2B: Matt Carpenter, Cardinals
3B: David Wright, Mets
SS: Jean Segura, Brewers
OF: Andrew McCutchen, Pirates
OF: Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies
OF: Carlos Gomez, Brewers
SP: Matt Harvey

Reserves

C: Buster Posey, Giants
1B: Joey Votto, Reds
1B: Allen Craig, Cardinals
1B: Freddie Freeman, Braves
2B: Brandon Phillips, Reds
SS: Troy Tulowitzki, Rockies
SS: Ian Desmond, Nationals 
SS: Everth Cabrera, Padres
3B: Pedro Alvarez, Pirates
OF: Dominic Brown, Phillies
OF: Bryce Harper, Nationals
OF: Gerardo Parra, Diamondbacks
OF: Carlos Beltran, Cardinals 


Pitchers

Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers
Patrick Corbin, Diamondbacks
Travis Wood, Cubs
Jose Fernandez, Marlins
Cliff Lee, Phillies
Jeff Locke, Pirates
Adam Wainwright, Cardinals
Shelby Miller, Cardinals
Jordan Zimmermann, Twins
Craig Kimbrel, Braves
Jason Grilli, Pirates
Aroldis Chapman, Reds



Not many discrepancies in the starting lineup.  Almost all of the starters that I have on my roster are leading their positions in WAR.  Matt Carpenter gets the start at second base and if baseball was fair, it wouldn't even be close as his 4.1 WAR is hands and away the best at second base but to be fair, his ability to play multiple infield spots makes him a natural fit at second.

While the glut in the American League was at second and third base, in the NL, the problem is an abundance of deserving candidates at first base and shortstop.   Like in the AL, I just included them all.  If I couldn't drop Allen Craig, I couldn't drop Freddie Freeman.  This probably means a just-as deserving NL pitcher will get the shaft later, but we'll get to that.   


Four shortstops?  Yeah, well I have four third basemen in the AL, so I don't see why I can't.  All of them have been deserving and their numbers back up their play.  Alvarez gets a spot on the squad with his big first half and you have to start Harvey.  HAVE TO START HARVEY. I SHOULD NOT HAVE TO NAME THE REASONS WHY HARVEY MUST START.


I put Gerardo Parra in over Cuddyer because one, I can and two, Parra's defense is so much better than Cuddy's that he actually finishes with a higher WAR (2.3 to 1.9) despite getting burned by Cuddyer in wRC, wOBA, and wRC+.  For those who think that defense matters, include Parra.

Before you destroy my pitching selection in the NL, keep in mind that deserving pitchers got left off every mock roster.  I didn't want to leave Strasburg off, but he's been hurt.  There are only three closers on the squad but saves are overrated and the abundance of starting pitching talent in the NL is ridiculous.  


Fernandez and Wood make the squad because they are my only Marlin and Cub, but I would have loved to replace either of them with Strasburg, Mike Leake, Madison Bumgarner or even Mark Melancon or Rex Brothers but if we're going to include NL shortstops and NL first basemen, sorry pitchers.  Next time do better than Matt Harvey.  

Oh, and Bryce Harper makes the squad because of the same reason Justin Verlander did.....F--- YOU!
Those are our All-Star mock rosters everyone.  Be sure to check out Wade's, Tommy's and my rosters and tell us who you agree with more and just exactly why you hate Justin Verlander.   

And if you have nothing else to do today, head over to the MLB Final Vote and make sure you do you part to send Freddie Freeman to New York.  Everyone at the Full Count is on the wagon.  #votefreddie