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 21, 2013, 6:49 AM EDT
Dodgers 3, Brewers 1: After the last scene of Don Mattingly’s managerial life flashed before him, he looked back at the footprints in the sand. He noticed that at many times along the path of his time in Los Angeles, especially at the very lowest and saddest times, there was only one set of footprints. Clayton Kershaw then whispered, “My precious…
May 21, 2013, 2:08 AM EDT
Move over Clay Buchholz. Marlins starter Alex Sanabia went old school on Monday, bypassing the sunscreen and rosin and simply hocking a big ol’ loogie on the baseball after giving up a home run to the Phillies’ Domonic Brown. The video isn’t embeddable yet, but here’s the link to it at MLB.com, as well as…
May 20, 2013, 10:36 PM EDT
The Nationals have Bryce Harper back in the starting lineup tonight against the Giants, but it appears that Jayson Werth‘s absence from a hamstring injury will be a little longer than initially expected. Nationals manager Davey Johnson told Amanda Comak of the Washington Times that he received an “alarming” report on Werth today. No word…
May 20, 2013, 9:45 PM EDT
After Jonny Venters underwent Tommy John surgery last week, another Braves’ reliever is headed for the same fate. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, left-hander Eric O’Flaherty will undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery tomorrow. It doesn’t come as a big surprise, as he was diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his…
May 20, 2013, 9:03 PM EDT
Bryce Harper sat out Saturday and Sunday due to lingering soreness in his left knee caused by his collision with the right field fence at Dodger Stadium last Monday, but Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com reports that he’s back in the starting lineup for tonight’s series opener against the Giants. Harper was all banged up after…
May 20, 2013, 8:15 PM EDT
According to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News, right-hander Scott Proctor has decided to retire from baseball. Proctor, now 36, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2011 with the Braves and Yankees. After spending last season with the Doosan Bears of the Korean Baseball Organization, he had an 8.59 ERA and 6/10 K/BB…
May 20, 2013, 8:00 PM EDT
UPDATE: Just a quick follow-up from this morning, Dodgers general maanger Ned Colletti told the Associated Press earlier this evening that manager Don Mattingly is “doing fine.” Asked if it was false to say Mattingly would be fired this week, Colletti simply said: “My perspective hasn’t changed. I’m done talking about it.” 8:52 AM ET:…
May 20, 2013, 7:30 PM EDT
Alex Rodriguez isn’t as far along as teammate Mark Teixeira, but he continues to make progress from January hip surgery. According to the Associated Press, Rodriguez began his third week of on-field activity today by fielding grounders and taking 25 swings in an indoor batting cage at the Yankees’ minor league complex in Tampa, Florida.…
May 20, 2013, 6:44 PM EDT
The Phillies placed reliever Mike Adams on the 15-day disabled list this afternoon due to a back injury, but the club is also dealing with some injuries to their everyday lineup. Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News reports that Carlos Ruiz is expected to miss 3-4 weeks after he suffered a Grade 2 strain…
May 20, 2013, 5:55 PM EDT
As of Monday afternoon, the Rangers and Cardinals have baseball’s best records. Not entirely coincidentally they also have the best run differentials of any team in baseball. The Rangers have scored 212 runs and let in 158, putting them at +54. The Cardinals have scored 201 runs and allowed a major league-low 150, which works out…
May 20, 2013, 5:17 PM EDT
Philadelphia has finally placed Mike Adams on the disabled list after the reliever remained on the active roster despite being unavailable with a back injury since May 12. Because he hasn’t pitched for more than a week and the DL stint is backdated Adams is eligible to return Sunday. In the meantime Humberto Quintero replaces…
May 20, 2013, 5:03 PM EDT
I actually don’t believe in teams of destiny. At least not in May. I’ve seen too many teams suck for five months, get hot in September and October and then win it all or at least come close. My 1993 Braves made a giant trade in 1993, heralded by literal flames, and then went on…
May 20, 2013, 4:48 PM EDT
Texas designated Derek Lowe for assignment after the 40-year-old right-hander allowed 13 runs in 13 innings out of the bullpen. Just the other day Lowe was talking about how much he disliked sabermetrics, saying: If you pump my numbers into the system compared to, let’s say, Tanner Scheppers, of course his stuff is going to…
May 20, 2013, 4:16 PM EDT
As expected the Red Sox have activated Andrew Bailey from the disabled list after the right-hander missed the past three weeks with a strained biceps. Before the injury Bailey had taken over as the Red Sox’s closer and he’ll almost surely reclaim ninth-inning duties right away. Joel Hanrahan‘s season-ending elbow surgery means that Bailey doesn’t…
May 20, 2013, 3:41 PM EDT
In yesterday’s Rays-Orioles game, Matt Joyce hit a ball that maybe was a homer or maybe a double or maybe a foul ball. Hard to say on live viewing! It was initially ruled in play and Joyce made it to second for a double. Buck Showalter came out of the dugout and argued that the…
May 20, 2013, 3:15 PM EDT
Caleb Thielbar was pitching for the independent league St. Paul Saints in 2011 and now he’s headed to the majors. Minnesota signed Thielbar after he impressed with the Saints and he’s steadily climbed through the Twins’ farm system, putting together a very impressive stretch at Triple-A this year in which he’s allowed zero earned runs…
May 20, 2013, 3:00 PM EDT
I’m sure it has zero to do with their play, but Pete Abraham of the Globe reports that, unlike in years past, the Red Sox are puttin’ on the ritz this year for road trips: Clay Buchholz, John Lackey, and Jon Lester now dress like hedge fund managers on road trips. Ryan Dempster has custom-made…
May 20, 2013, 2:44 PM EDT
David Aardsma, who was released by the Yankees in early April and opted out of a minor-league deal with the Marlins last week, has agreed to a new minor-league contract with the Mets. This will be Aardsma’s fourth organization since the end of 2011, as he tries to prove that he can be healthy and…
May 20, 2013, 2:20 PM EDT
Mark Teixeira initially said he’d be back by May 1 and then adjusted that to June 1 and now … who knows. But the Yankees first baseman did take a big step in his recovery from a wrist injury by playing in his first extended spring training game today. Stats for those games aren’t really…
May 20, 2013, 2:00 PM EDT
In response to Ken Rosenthal’s column on the possible imminent end to Don Mattingly’s career in Los Angeles, Bill Shaikin reports thusly: The Dodgers have “no plans” to fire Manager Don Mattingly when the team returns home Thursday or any time before then, a club official said late Sunday night. So he’s safe. That is, unless the Dodgers are…
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