Skip to content

Evan Longoria, Stephen Strasburg lead All-Star snubs

Jul 6, 2013, 8:21 PM EDT

Evan Longoria AP

No matter how bloated the All-Star rosters get, it’s never hard to find imperfections. This year, two of the AL’s top 10 performers to date have been left off for no good reason. For some reason, manager Jim Leyland’s squad took three catchers and four second basemen, but just two from third base, which has been the league’s deepest position. That’s where our biggest snubs are found.

American League

Evan Longoria (3B Rays): Despite some recent foot troubles, Longoria has played in 84 games this year and posted the AL’s sixth-best OPS at .908. While they wouldn’t admit it, the Rays are probably happy that Longoria wasn’t chosen, since he’ll now have four days to rest his foot during the break. On merit, though, he was a clear choice. Even if the AL was only going to take two third basemen, he could have been picked over Baltimore’s Manny Machado.

Josh Donaldson (3B Athletics): Donaldson is right behind Longoria in seventh place in the AL in OPS, and he’s been the biggest bat on a surprisingly strong Oakland offense. Leyland should have simply taken all four third basemen — Miguel Cabrera, Longoria, Machado and Donaldson — and subtracted Salvador Perez and Ben Zobrist from the squad. Zobrist, while a valuable player, has an OPS nearly 200 points worse than Donaldson’s this season (.724 to .903).

Grant Balfour (RHP Athletics): How exciting of MLB to set it up so that the AL portion of the final vote is between a bunch of setup men (Joaquin Benoit, Steve Delabar, David Robertson, Tanner Scheppers and Koji Uehara). Balfour and his 40 consecutive saves (22 this year) couldn’t even crack that list. The A’s are a first-place team, yet they have just one All-Star in Bartolo Colon. Balfour, with his 1.82 ERA, was just as worthy as any other reliever in the league.

Howie Kendrick (2B Angels): It’s pretty stunning that the AL took four second basemen and still couldn’t find room for this guy. Kendrick is batting .317/.360/.473 with 10 homers so far. Maybe he didn’t deserve a spot over Jason Kipnis or Dustin Pedroia, but he should have been picked before Zobrist.

Coco Crisp (OF Athletics): For some reason, Leyland didn’t take a center fielder among his three outfield backups (Nelson Cruz, Alex Gordon and Torii Hunter). Maybe that means Mike Trout will play the whole game, starting in left and moving to center once Adam Jones departs. More likely it means that Hunter will finish the game in his old position. Better if the AL had just bumped him and taken Crisp, Jacoby Ellsbury or Brett Gardner as a backup center fielder instead.

Derek Holland (LHP Rangers): By Fangraphs WAR, Holland has been the AL’s best pitcher so far. The modest 6-4 record overshadows how good Holland has been with his 107/29 K/BB ratio and just seven homers allowed in 112 innings. He’s also been at his best recently, shutting out the Yankees and striking out 10 Mariners in his last two starts.

National League

Ian Desmond (SS Nationals): Desmond is one of the candidates to go via the final vote, and though he’ll almost certainly lose that spot to Yasiel Puig, he’ll make the squad if starting shortstop Troy Tulowitzki misses the game with his broken rib. Desmond has come on strong and is hitting .281/.324/.506 to date.

Stephen Strasburg (RHP Nationals): Maybe all that Matt Harvey hype has left Strasburg overlooked. Of course, Strasburg did serve a brief DL stint earlier this year, but he’s still made 16 starts, the same number as All-Star pick Jose Fernandez and one or two fewer than the rest of the field, and he ranks third in the NL in ERA at 2.24. That puts him ever so slightly ahead of both Harvey (2.27) and Adam Wainwright (2.36). All that said, it seems doubtful that the Nationals wanted him pitching in the All-Star Game anyway.

Hyun-Jin Ryu (LHP Dodgers): Bochy had no choice but to put Clayton Kershaw on the team, but he didn’t take any other Dodgers. That included bypassing Ryu, who just beat his Giants squad last night. Ryu is 7-3 with a 2.82 ERA in 17 starts this season. Madison Bumgarner, who was selected by Bochy, is 8-5 with a 3.08 ERA in 17 starts.

Mark Melancon (RHP Pirates): While the AL squad was all about taking the best relievers, regardless of roles, Bochy limited his relief picks to closers: Craig Kimbrel, Aroldis Chapman and Jason Grilli. Melancon, with a 0.87 ERA and a 44/4 K/BB ratio in 41 1/3 innings as a setup guy, has been better than any of them this season. The Cardinals’ Trevor Rosenthal and Dodgers’ Kenley Jansen also would have been better picks than the fringe starters if the goal is to win the game.

Yasiel Puig (OF Dodgers): I’ll mention Puig here, even though I’m OK with him not being chosen. It’s hard to argue that he’s a snub when he’s played just 30 major league games. Still, if the fans want to see him, then by all means, put him on the team. That’s what will happen after he was included on the Final Vote ballot today. No one stands any chance of beating him out.

Latest Posts
  1. Corey Kluber is miffed he didn’t get to throw warmup pitches during a replay review

    Aug 28, 2014, 8:23 AM EDT

    Corey Kluber Getty Getty Images

    He feels like the current rules make a pitcher guess as to how long the replay review will last and thus force him to gamble on whether or not to throw warmup pitches.

  2. And That Happened: Wednesday’s scores and highlights

    Aug 28, 2014, 6:55 AM EDT

    Clayton Kershaw Getty Images

    Every fifth day I wake up in the morning and see another impressive Clayton Kershaw pitching line.

  3. Xander Bogaerts cleared to return from the 7-day concussion disabled list on Saturday night

    Aug 27, 2014, 11:27 PM EDT

    xander bogaerts getty Getty Images

    Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts has passed MLB’s concussion protocol and will return from the 7-day disabled list this Saturday night.

  4. Video: Andrelton Simmons protects the Braves’ late lead with an amazing play at shortstop

    Aug 27, 2014, 10:23 PM EDT

    andrelton simmons getty Getty Images

    Andrelton Simmons kept the Braves’ late lead intact with this ridiculous play Wednesday night against the Mets …

  5. Manny Machado undergoes season-ending knee surgery

    Aug 27, 2014, 9:48 PM EDT

    manny machado getty Getty Images

    Orioles infielder Manny Machado underwent successful surgery Wednesday to repair a partially-torn ligament in his right knee.

  6. David Price surrenders nine consecutive hits to the Yankees in the worst start of his career

    Aug 27, 2014, 9:45 PM EDT

    david price getty Getty Images

    The Tigers entered play Wednesday night trailing the Royals by 1 1/2 games in the American League Central standings and were hoping to get another strong start from trade deadline acquisition David Price, who tossed eight innings of one-run ball last week in Tampa Bay. Price did not come through.

  7. Tigers’ retirement gifts for Derek Jeter: a set of old Tiger Stadium seats and three paintings

    Aug 27, 2014, 8:59 PM EDT

    derek jeter getty Getty Images

    Derek Jeter’s retirement tour continued Wednesday night at Detroit’s Comerica Park with another set of gifts …

  8. Video: Jorge Soler homers in his first major league at-bat

    Aug 27, 2014, 8:05 PM EDT

    jorge soler getty Getty Images

    Watch as Cubs top outfield prospect Jorge Soler goes deep to left-center field in his first major league at-bat Wednesday evening at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati …

  9. Michael Wacha to make first rehab start Sunday with the Double-A Springfield Cardinals

    Aug 27, 2014, 7:18 PM EDT

    wacha getty Getty Images

    From Brian Stull of STL Baseball Weekly comes word that Michael Wacha has been cleared to begin a minor league rehab assignment Sunday with the Double-A Springfield Cardinals. Wacha threw a simulated game at Springfield on Wednesday afternoon and reported no issues with his shoulder.

  10. Rockies place Wilin Rosario on the disabled list

    Aug 27, 2014, 6:24 PM EDT

    wilin rosario getty Getty Images

    Rockies catcher Wilin Rosario continues to battle with inflammation in his left wrist and was officially placed on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday evening.

  11. Adam Wainwright has a “dead arm”

    Aug 27, 2014, 4:30 PM EDT

    Wainwright

    Which, despite the name of it, usually isn’t as serious as a lot of other stuff that can afflict pitchers.

  12. Yankees sign Mets castoff Chris Young

    Aug 27, 2014, 4:16 PM EDT

    chris young getty Getty Images

    Young signed a one-year, $7.25 million deal with the Mets this offseason in the hopes of building back his value before hitting the free agent market again, but instead he hit just .205 with eight homers and a .630 OPS in 88 games.

  13. Royals demote Aaron Crow to Double-A

    Aug 27, 2014, 3:45 PM EDT

    Aaron Crow AP

    Crow was an All-Star in 2011 and has a 3.35 ERA in 226 career innings through age 26, including a 3.86 ERA in 59 appearances this season.

  14. David Ortiz is back in the Red Sox’s lineup

    Aug 27, 2014, 3:18 PM EDT

    David Ortiz AP

    In the 10 games prior to the injury Ortiz hit .515 with four homers, three doubles, and a 1.606 OPS while the Red Sox went 2-8.

  15. Jury awards Jose Offerman’s bat attack victim $940,000

    Aug 27, 2014, 3:05 PM EDT

    Jose Offerman AP AP

    Offerman ended a man’s career by hitting him with a bat. Now he has to pay for it.

  16. Yonder Alonso needs surgery to “re-attach a ruptured tendon to the bone”

    Aug 27, 2014, 2:21 PM EDT

    yonder alonso getty Getty Images

    Alonso is arbitration eligible for the first time this offseason coming off a career-worst season in which he hit just .240 with seven homers and a .682 OPS in 84 games.

  17. Great Moments in Drug Testing and Punishment: The NFL Edition

    Aug 27, 2014, 1:30 PM EDT

    marijuana

    The league that has no HGH testing and never gets criticized for its drug policies, has suspended a guy for a year for using a substance that is legal in two of the 22 states in which the NFL operates.

  18. Mark Appel had the best start of his pro career last night

    Aug 27, 2014, 1:13 PM EDT

    Mark Appel AP AP

    Astros prospect Mark Appel was terrible at Single-A and then there was a weird quasi-controversy about him throwing a bullpen session in Houston, but now the former No. 1 overall pick is thriving at Double-A.

Featured video

Alex Gordon, MVP candidate
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. R. Castillo (4653)
  2. Y. Molina (2640)
  3. D. Ortiz (2582)
  4. J. Soler (2504)
  5. M. Cuddyer (2117)
  1. Y. Darvish (2018)
  2. M. Machado (2018)
  3. B. Colon (2012)
  4. R. Cano (1972)
  5. S. Doolittle (1904)