Jul 1, 2012, 2:14 PM EDT
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.
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.
May 24, 2013, 4:00 PM EDT
I get the sense that if Alfonso Soriano is on the trading block this summer he’s not gonna have a big problem waiving his no-trade rights. From Carrie Muskat at MLB.com, here’s Soriano venting about losing: “You think we’re going to win that game 3-0, and in five minutes, [we're down] 5-3 … I’m tired…
May 24, 2013, 3:45 PM EDT
David Ross, who’s missed the past two weeks with post-concussion symptoms, has been cleared to return to the Red Sox and will be active for tonight’s game. That means Ryan Lavarnway is headed back to Triple-A after filling in for Ross as Jarrod Saltalamacchia‘s backup. Ross played in one minor-league rehab game at Double-A yesterday,…
May 24, 2013, 3:15 PM EDT
For the second time this season Reds left-hander Sean Marshall is headed to the disabled list with shoulder problems. Last month it was tendinitis and now it’s being called a sprained shoulder, so it seems likely that Marshall will be out of action for more than the minimum 15 days. In between the injuries he…
May 24, 2013, 3:00 PM EDT
Not long ago the Mariners benched Brendan Ryan for Robert Andino. Not realizing, it seemed, that while neither of then could hit their way out of a wet paper bag, at least Ryan could flash some serious leather. Someone finally figured that out, however: Andino has been designated for assignment. Andino was hitting .184/.253/.237 in 85…
May 24, 2013, 2:14 PM EDT
As of last year Alex Rodriguez had his house in Miami on the market for an asking price of $38 million and Darren Rovell of ESPN.com reports that he finally sold the place for $30 million. According to Rovell he paid $7.4 million for the place in 2010 and then dropped another $7.4 million or…
May 24, 2013, 1:30 PM EDT
He’s still employed by the Dodgers. And Davey Johnson is still employed by the Nats. But the latter situation is only going to last for this year and the former could end at any time. In light of that Danny Knobler of CBS Sports.com hears some chatter that the former could replace the latter: People…
May 24, 2013, 1:16 PM EDT
How long is a pitcher sidelined after he punches a locker with his pitching hand and breaks it (the hand, not the locker)? Well, in Ryan Mattheus‘ case 4-6 weeks. That’s the official word from the Nationals and as Amanda Comak of the Washington Times notes the good news is that the reliever won’t need…
May 24, 2013, 1:00 PM EDT
I was a big fan of Drew Sheppard’s Gif of Yu Darvish throwing five different pitches. As were some folks in Japan, who inexplicably made that post the most-read thing in the history of HardballTalk. By a wide margin. But I think I’m more impressed by Drew putting six Miguel Cabrera home runs into one…
May 24, 2013, 12:30 PM EDT
Hey, Kay asked me buy or sell, I gave my answer.
May 24, 2013, 11:51 AM EDT
Blue Jays left-hander Darren Oliver has been his usual effective self this season at age 42, posting a sub-3.25 ERA for the sixth straight season, but now he’s headed to the disabled list with a strained shoulder. To replace Oliver on the roster Toronto called up Double-A left-hander Sean Nolin, a 23-year-old who was their…
May 24, 2013, 11:37 AM EDT
Phillies great Richie Ashburn died in 1997. Until now he has been resting in peace. Some, as Victor Fiorillo of the Philly Post repots, are worried that won’t be the case for long: His family buried him in the cemetery outside of Gladwyne Methodist Church, where all was quiet until some developers announced plans to…
May 24, 2013, 11:19 AM EDT
After two injury wrecked seasons the Twins have been remarkably healthy so far, but their lone significant injury has provided a glimpse into the same question health marks that got the head trainer fired this offseason. Backup outfielder Darin Mastroianni injured his ankle late in spring training, but instead of simply placing him on the…
May 24, 2013, 11:02 AM EDT
Today is Bob Dylan’s 72nd birthday. Bob Dylan likes baseball a lot. He devoted a whole episode of his radio show to baseball songs a few years back and it was fantastic. He also wrote and recorded a song about Catfish Hunter for the “Desire” album in 1976 but he left it off. No reason…
May 24, 2013, 10:47 AM EDT
Mike Trout hit for the cycle Tuesday, notched two more hits Wednesday, and took Ervin Santana deep last night for the longest homer of his career. Trout watched Santana serve up a league-high 39 homers when they were teammates last season and the Angels homered off him four times last night, including this 463-foot monster…
May 24, 2013, 10:32 AM EDT
There’s a lot of projecting Miguel Cabrera‘s season forward going on today. Saw Buster Olney doing it on Twitter. They’re doing it at High Heat Stats today too. If you play the on-pace game, Cabrera could have, like, 200 RBI. Odds don’t favor that, of course. He’s likely to slump at some point. Well, maybe.…
May 24, 2013, 10:15 AM EDT
Dodgers prospect and 2009 first-round pick Aaron Miller is giving up on pitching and moving to the outfield. Miller fared well in the low minors, but the left-hander posted a 5.03 ERA with 101 walks in 168 innings at Double-A and also dealt with some injuries. He played some outfield in college at Baylor University,…
May 24, 2013, 9:25 AM EDT
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s baseball bonafides are beyond reproach. A big Yankees fan from youth. The judge who effectively ended the strike in 1995. She knows her stuff. So she was the perfect choice to sit in on a mock oral re-argument of the famous Curt Flood case, which sought to end the reserve…
May 24, 2013, 8:53 AM EDT
And it’s not just saying “robot umps now,” no matter how satisfying that is. Writing over at Murray Chass’s blog, the former Commissioner of Baseball Fay Vincent says that MLB needs to take total control of umpiring: MLB should buy the umpire schools and take over the training and development of all umpires in professional…
May 24, 2013, 8:23 AM EDT
Recently there has been some talk about the fans in Toronto getting too drunk and too rowdy for their own good. We saw a bit of it last night. Orioles outfielder Nate McLouth made a nice catch, falling into the stands. When he got back up and got on the field, a fan wasted a…
May 24, 2013, 6:59 AM EDT
Indians 12, Red Sox 3: The Tribe’s bats had a nice night with Yan Gomes, Mark Reynolds and Michael Bourn all racking up multiple RBI. Oh, and you may or may not have heard this, but Terry Francona, currently the Indians’ manager, used to be the Red Sox manager and this was his first time back in Boston since he…
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