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Austin Jackson, Bryce Harper lead All-Star snubs

Jul 1, 2012, 2:14 PM EDT

Bryce Harper AP

You knew it was coming. In truth, I think those in charge did a better job of picking this season’s All-Stars than they have in recent years. Still, I have some disagreements, even if none of them are quite as vehement as last season’s.

Austin Jackson (OF Tigers) – Jackson’s DL stint probably cost him a roster spot, but he’s played in just as many games as Mike Trout this year and has the better OPS of the two at .945. In fact, he ranks sixth in the AL in OPS, and he’s played an outstanding center field for Detroit. Ideally, the AL would have found room for him, Trout and Adam Jones on the squad, but if one of them had to be left off, it should have been Jones.

Bryce Harper (OF Nationals) – No, Harper didn’t necessarily deserve a roster spot on merit. But it’s not like he was far off, either, and he’d give a lot of people more reason to watch the All-Star Game.  He probably would have been voted in as a starter had he been listed on the ballot. His .274/.346/.475 line is about as valuable as Jay Bruce‘s .257/.327/.526, especially once one factors in that Bruce is putting up his numbers at Great American. There still could be room for him on the team if he wins the Final Vote, as seems likely.

James McDonald (RHP Pirates) – Incredibly enough, the NL All-Star pitching staff will feature just one guy in the top six in the league in ERA and three of the top 11. Brandon Beachy and Ryan Dempster, Nos. 1 and 2 respectively, are on the DL, so they weren’t possibilities. No. 3 R.A. Dickey did get the nod. However, the next three on the list: Ryan Vogelsong, Johnny Cueto and McDonald, were all left out. I see McDonald as the biggest snub. Not only is he sixth in ERA, but he’s fourth in the league in WHIP. His three losses this year have all come in games in which the Pirates were shut out.

Johan Santana (LHP Mets) – How many no-hitters does a guy have to throw to get some recognition? Santana is 10th in the NL in ERA ahead of All-Stars Gio Gonzalez, Stephen Strasburg, Wade Miley, Cole Hamels and Lance Lynn. I’d have gone with McDonald over Lynn, Santana over Miley and either Cueto or Madison Bumgarner over Hamels.

Edwin Encarnacion (1B-DH Blue Jays) – The AL is carrying three designated hitters and still couldn’t find room for this guy? Encarnacion ranks seventh in the league in OPS and fifth in homers. He’s also struck out 70 times fewer than Adam Dunn.

Jake Peavy (RHP White Sox) – In stark contrast to the NL, the AL managed to take its top five pitchers by ERA. Still, manager Ron Washington left off No. 6 in Peavy. Peavy also ranks fourth in WHIP and sixth in strikeouts, but he’s just 6-5 thanks to poor support. The White Sox probably didn’t want him pitching in the game anyway.

Jed Lowrie (SS Astros) – Lowrie leads all shortstops in homers and is third in OPS behind the AL All-Star Asdrubal Cabrera and the injured Troy Tulowitzki. I don’t mind Jose Altuve as Houston’s All-Star, but on merit, the NL should have picked Lowrie over Starlin Castro.

Aar0n Hill (2B Diamondbacks) – With Lowrie representing the Astros, Hill could have made the team over Altuve. Mr. Cycle’s .878 OPS is 75 points better than that of Altuve and 100 points better than that of any other NL second baseman.

Ernesto Frieri, Scott Downs (RP Angels) – Frieri has pitched 23 1/3 scoreless innings and struck out 40 since arriving in Anaheim. Downs has a 0.35 ERA in 26 innings after finishing at 1.34 last year. I’d certainly rather rely on those two for matchup purposes late in the game than either Chris Perez or Joe Nathan.

Josh Willingham (OF Twins) – Willingham has the AL’s 10th best OPS at .913, but he was a casuality of the fact that the AL is carrying three DHs in David Ortiz, Dunn and Billy Butler.

Paul Goldschmidt (1B Diamondbacks) – If anyone deserves to play nine innings in the All-Star Game, it’s Joey Votto. Not only is he the NL’s best hitter, but there just weren’t any great options to back him up. Bryan LaHair was chosen as the team’s other first basemen, even though his numbers have taken a big nosedive of late. Adam LaRoche was more deserving, even if his .251/.338/.506 line is nothing special. My preferred choice, though, would have been Goldschmidt, who has shaken off a rough start to hit .293/.369/.542 in 225 at-bats.

  1. cerowb - Jul 1, 2012 at 2:22 PM

    All-Star snub posts are really pretty worthless. In the next week, a dozen players will back out with injuries and all the players that everyone bitches about will get in anyway.

    Waste of time.

  2. muckthefets23 - Jul 1, 2012 at 2:24 PM

    Think you may have wrong usage of the word “Their” Matthew in the Bryce Harper paragraph.

    • Matthew Pouliot - Jul 1, 2012 at 2:26 PM

      Thanks! Fixed.

      • okwhitefalcon - Jul 1, 2012 at 4:09 PM

        A great explanation of the voting breakdown by Danny Knobler of CBS can be read here, way more to it than meets the eye:

        http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/blog/danny-knobler/19457922/blame-the-manager-for-all-star-snubs-not-so-fast

  3. fearlessleader - Jul 1, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    “I’d have gone with McDonald over Lynn….”

    Agreed, though this wasn’t up to TLR, since Lynn was voted in by the players (before his string of three straight lousy starts).

  4. soundsofsuccess7 - Jul 1, 2012 at 2:30 PM

    the angels probably should’ve had 7 guys in the game.. weaver, Wilson, trout, trumbo did make it, but frieri, downs, pujols should have made it.

    • rooney24 - Jul 1, 2012 at 2:45 PM

      Pujols? Based on what? His overall numbers are okay, but nothing amazing.

    • elgorditodehumboldt - Jul 1, 2012 at 10:02 PM

      I’m as big of Angels homer as their comes and even I don’t believe Pujols should be an All Star. Frieri and Downs have a legitimate case – Pujols does not.

  5. randygnyc - Jul 1, 2012 at 2:32 PM

    Mathew- Johan Santana (LHP Mets) – How many no-hitters does a guy have to throw to get some recognition?

    Are you talking about official, or legitimate no-hitters? Perhaps if Santana had actually thrown a no-hitter, he would have deserved consideration. Outside of Mets fans, there isn’t anyone, with any credibility, that can say Santana didn’t give up a hit to Beltran.

    • rooney24 - Jul 1, 2012 at 2:47 PM

      But, he didn’t give up a hit, because it wasn’t called that way. Cry all you want, but it is a no hitter, whether that should have been a hit or not. I won’t argue that the call was wrong, as it was. But, it was not ruled a hit, so it wasn’t a hit. Are you going to still cry about Brendan Ryan’s check swing in Humber’s prefect game also?

    • rythestunner - Jul 2, 2012 at 1:28 PM

      I don’t understand the format of the original question:

      “How many no-hitters does a guy have to throw to get recognition?”

      This question implies that Santana has thrown several no-hitters in his career, and he has not. This year’s was his first and only no-hitter to date.

      If we’re to imply that every pitcher that throws a no-hitter should get All-Star recognition, then I guess Phil Humber and his 6.01 ERA should be in the All-Star game.

  6. whodeyx - Jul 1, 2012 at 2:35 PM

    I hate the “rabble rabble rabble, xyz player isn’t on your list” posts, but it is a crying shame that Johnny Cueto and Brandon Phillips aren’t on the NL roster. BP is far and away the best second baseman in the NL and Cueto is having a magnificent season and is going to miss yet another all star game. I have to think this goes back to the beef each player had with TLR, but that is incredibly petty and sad that he would hold that against guys playing the best baseball in their respective league. What a crock.

    • fearlessleader - Jul 1, 2012 at 2:49 PM

      I’d have been fine with Phillips, but did anyone really expect TLR to select Cueto after the guy kicked a Cardinal catcher into early retirement? Right or wrong, it wasn’t going to happen.

      If the Reds win the pennant this year, Dusty will have ample opportunity to retaliate. :)

    • paperlions - Jul 1, 2012 at 3:12 PM

      Feel free to provide evidence that Phillips is “far and away the best 2nd baseman in the NL”. I’ll even settle for evidence that he’s barely the best.

      • paperlions - Jul 1, 2012 at 6:09 PM

        Yeah, still waiting.

      • metalhead65 - Jul 1, 2012 at 6:14 PM

        just watch him play idiot! nobody makes better defensive plays than him at the position and he is batting cleanup for the reds doing a more than respectable job at it. how does uggla deserve it over him and I have never heard of the guy they selected as his back up. oh wait he plays for the astros,the last place astros so that explains that.

      • metalhead65 - Jul 1, 2012 at 6:16 PM

        just watch him play idiot! nobody makes better defensive plays than him at the position and he is batting cleanup for the reds doing a more than respectable job at it. how does uggla deserve it over him? and I have never heard of the guy they selected as his back up. oh wait he plays for the astros,the last place astros so that explains that.

      • okwhitefalcon - Jul 1, 2012 at 6:16 PM

        Did meathead65 just play the “idiot” card?

        Oh, the irony….

      • paperlions - Jul 1, 2012 at 6:17 PM

        Meathead, Phillips isn’t even the best 2B left off the AS team. Batting clean up, in and of itself, is not an accomplishment. His offense has been okay this year, nothing special.

        Again, feel free to provide actual evidence other than “you have to see him play”.

      • paperlions - Jul 1, 2012 at 7:50 PM

        Phillips is so clearly the best 2B in the NL, that the fans failed to select him, the players failed to select him, he failed to make the list of final vote candidates….but I’m the idiot and TLR is the asshole?

        Uh huh.

    • stlouis1baseball - Jul 2, 2012 at 9:10 AM

      You can’t go wrong with B. Phillips. The guy can hit and his defensive is 2nd to none.
      When fully healthy (and playing to their full abilities)…Cano and Pedroia are the only other players currently in MLB who I would have maning the 2nd base position ahead of #4.
      But their are only so many spots…and you KNEW Chipper was going to be selected (or you should have known anyway).
      Aside from all this…I give you the post below from Paper as it sums things up really well…
      “Phillips is so clearly the best 2B in the NL, that the fans failed to select him, the players failed to select him, he failed to make the list of final vote candidates.”

  7. soundsofsuccess7 - Jul 1, 2012 at 2:38 PM

    Michael bourn gets my vote over harper for last man in.. frieri for al is a no brainer. he hasn’t allowed a run in the AL and its not like he hasn’t been pitching much.

    • natslady - Jul 1, 2012 at 5:28 PM

      I like Bourn and sincerely hope he is a Nat next season, but, um, did you watch his fielding today?? Not All-Star caliber.

  8. Kevin Gillman - Jul 1, 2012 at 2:46 PM

    Another snub is Jason Kipnis, of the Cleveland Indians. His numbers are right there with Ian Kinsler, but I bet Ian getting chosen had to do with his manager, Ron Washington. That’s okay though, because Jason is only going to get better.

  9. minimoose763 - Jul 1, 2012 at 2:54 PM

    McDonald, Cueto, Bumgarner, and Vogelsong all got shafted. They are much more deserving than Lynn and Hamels. Even the Papelbon selection is a stretch.

    • owentheblonde - Jul 2, 2012 at 7:36 AM

      Cards fan and while I’ve been very, very happy with Lynn this year, his last few starts have been pretty lousy and before that he got a lot of run support, although he legitimately earned most of those 10 wins regardless. I know he got in on the wins primarily and that is consistent with how a lot of pitchers get into the ASG for as long as I can remember but I was fully expecting that he could be left off the roster for someone else for sure and I wouldn’t have complained.

  10. recoveringcubsfan - Jul 1, 2012 at 2:56 PM

    I’m watching the Nats-Braves game and Harper just said in response to a hometwon broadcaster’s question about the All-Star game, “A lot of guys in this league have better numbers than I do.” He then said that the reason he wants to go to the game is “to be around guys who are the best and hang out” and “learn stuff.”

    Pretty damn cool for a kid. I think he has his head on straight.

  11. randygnyc - Jul 1, 2012 at 2:59 PM

    Rooney- sure, it goes in the books as a no hitter. But as you even said, Beltran clearly got a hit. And for Mathew to cite that questionable accomplishment as reason for being named to the AS game, betrays what objective eyes know to be the truth..

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 1, 2012 at 3:43 PM

      But as you even said, Beltran clearly got a hit

      http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/NYN/NYN201206010.shtml

      0 hits

      http://espn.go.com/mlb/boxscore?gameId=320601121

      0 hits

      what objective eyes know to be the truth..

      That word, it does not mean, what you think it means…

      • wretchu - Jul 2, 2012 at 10:03 AM

        > Implying that baseball scoring is objective.

        Ha, that’s funny. You know what’s TRULY objective? The fact that the ball landed in fair territory.

  12. jengibre23 - Jul 1, 2012 at 3:09 PM

    Frieri Aaron hill and Santana should have been in the all star game. But Austin Jackson of mike trout!? Mike trout leads the AL in batting average and will be the steals champion as well. So Jackson has him in 1 category. Big deal. Nobody can say that 1 player means more to their team than trout.

  13. astrosfan75956 - Jul 1, 2012 at 3:09 PM

    No mention of Broxton?

  14. brewcrewfan54 - Jul 1, 2012 at 3:24 PM

    Harper didn’t get snubbed. He’s having a nice rookie year but he’s not an all star yet.

  15. mikeo76 - Jul 1, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    I know we all have our favorites we want to see get picked, but I don’t understand the lack of respect for Martin Prado. Look at his stats 324 BA, 5 HR, 28 RBI, and he’s played left, 3rd base, 2nd base and 1st base this year. If that’s not All Star caliber play I don’t know what is!!

    • wretchu - Jul 2, 2012 at 10:08 AM

      That versatility probably works against him unfortunately. It’s harder to get in as a utility guy than it is for someone with a set position.

  16. bkl121 - Jul 1, 2012 at 4:06 PM

    how about chipper jones? not necessarily a snub, but would’ve been nice to see him go in his final year. can still be voted in though, so maybe it will all work out.

  17. psanf20 - Jul 1, 2012 at 4:29 PM

    Austin deserves in. But team is solid. Just an unfortunate year for AJax.

  18. whodeyx - Jul 1, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    Paperlions: All-around, it is pretty hard to argue. He is unmatched defensively and his offensive numbers are strong yet again this year. Who would you argue is better? Altuve or Uggla? There just isn’t a comparison and him being left off the roster just shows how petty la russa is.

    • okwhitefalcon - Jul 1, 2012 at 5:34 PM

      Good Lord…

      I suppose leaving Matt Holliday off and naming Jay Bruce was TLR being petty in regards to his former employer.

      As mentioned above, read this and you may get a better understanding of how teams were selected.

      http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/blog/danny-knobler/19457922/blame-the-manager-for-all-star-snubs-not-so-fast

      The players must be petty as well, they “snubbed” (cough cough) Queto and Phillips as well..

      http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/blog/danny-knobler/19457922/blame-the-manager-for-all-star-snubs-not-so-fast

    • paperlions - Jul 1, 2012 at 6:14 PM

      Yeah, um….again, evidence please?

      He is unmatched defensively based on what?

      Phillips is okay offensively, but lacks plus OB skills and most of his power is GAB aided. This year Hill has been far better than Phillips, and Hill isn’t on the team either.

      You may be right, and Phillips is fantastic…but if he is, it shouldn’t be that hard to provide data rather than vacuous opinion to back it up, right?

    • stlouis1baseball - Jul 2, 2012 at 11:26 AM

      Wow. You realize TLR had (6) selections right? By this I mean he had (6) actual selections AFTER the league mandated rule requiring a player from each team.
      So of the (6) players he picked…who was less deserving than Phillips? Keep in mind about 145 pitchers are needed in the average All Star Game. This means Papplebon, Hamels and Kershaw are gonna’ be needed. So this leaves…what (3) people?
      Of the (3) people…who should have been left off so Phillips could be choosen?
      WHO? Need a name Whodyx. WHO SHOULD HAVE BEEN LEFT OFF?

  19. dan1648 - Jul 1, 2012 at 4:42 PM

    A.J. Pierzynski was snubbed for sure he deserved to be an all-star more than Dunn.

  20. natslady - Jul 1, 2012 at 5:07 PM

    Excuse me??? Papelbon over Clippard??? Look at some stats. Just because a guy isn’t a “closer” all season????

  21. natslady - Jul 1, 2012 at 5:22 PM

    James Wagner ‏@JamesWagnerWP
    Asked about the final vote, Bryce Harper said he’d vote for Chipper Jones.

    As he should. Polite and proper. Now, will Chipper vote for the Kid?

  22. cmcgly - Jul 1, 2012 at 5:30 PM

    What about Saltalamacchia?? He should at LEAST be in the Final Vote

  23. cleverpumpkin - Jul 1, 2012 at 6:14 PM

    I have been a Washington Nationals fan for about 5 seasons now. The 2012 season is by far the most encouraging sign of the future this team has ahead of itself. Bryce Harper is a solid hitter, but I have watched many games where he made ill advised throws, and just looked plain sloppy in the outfield. In many cases his sloppy play has cost the Nats runs. As much as I’d like to see him play in the All-Star game in Kansas City, I think he needs to become a better all around player.

  24. randygnyc - Jul 1, 2012 at 6:18 PM

    Hey church, you can be a contrarian for all of my posts, if that’s what gets you off. I said that in the record books, including the box score, will show it as a hit. But even those of diminished capacity, knows it was not. An objective analysis agrees. Those that have an emotional interest in saying it wasn’t, should be dismissed as irrational or ill informed.

    Let me ask you straight out then, knowing what you know now, after the benefit of replay, can you say Beltran’s ball was fair or foul?

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jul 1, 2012 at 10:16 PM

      Looked fair to me, but it doesn’t matter what I think. The ref’s ruled it foul ball, ergo it’s foul. Just because you think it’s one way, or some “objective” analyst, which again doesn’t mean what you think it means, says something, doesn’t make it true. There are people out there who think we faked the moon landing. There are people out there who think Pete Rose is innocent. There are people out there who think our current President wasn’t born in this country.

      Just because someone thinks something, or a group of people do, don’t make it one way if all evidence points to the contrary.

    • owentheblonde - Jul 2, 2012 at 7:31 AM

      You are both correct with your own arguments but it will go down as an official no-hitter and that’s just the way it is. I’m a Cards fan who watched the whole game and he had no-hit stuff and while while that was a hit, it wasn’t called a hit but that’s just what happens. As obvious as that missed called might be, the reality is that putting in effect an asterisk on the no-hitter because of that call isn’t right because, while nothing else really stood out, one could easily argue looking at ALL the rest of the game tape to see if any of Santana’s 3-2 counts (weren’t many, I don’t recall) pitches called strikes were actually balls, and other things that would further put asterisks on the achievement. Baseball is as imperfect as any sport so rarely will you get a no-hitter or perfect game that you couldn’t put an asterisk on. Again, I will say, that Santana earned that no-hitter and just consider that call as one of a few lucky breaks that typically occur in a game like that, mostly defensive saves or balls hit hard but right at someone.

  25. rcali - Jul 1, 2012 at 6:32 PM

    What about Sid Fitch? He potentially would have had a massive first half.

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