Clearing The Bases
Earlier this week we took a look at players that were snubbed from the 2012 All-Star game, tonight we will look at the opposite side of the spectrum, players that were elected or selected that shouldn’t be there. In some ways I can understand players that are snubbed. There are just to many great players, they can’t all go or there is a logjam at a certain position, but I will never understand how and/or why certain players get elected to go. Once again these players are in no particular order.
Bryan LaHair, Chicago Cubs: How do the woeful Cubs get two representatives? LaHair got off to a hot start but has been pedestrian for the last six to eight weeks. On the season he has 14 HRs and 30 RBIs, hardly All-Star numbers. The Cubs have thought so much of him that they have been sitting him versus most lefties since his hot start basically making him a platoon player.
Adam Dunn, Chicago White Sox: Now I know Dunn has had a nice comeback from a disastrous 2011 season where he batted a measly .159 and only hit 11 HRs. This season he has 25 HRs and 60 RBIs at the halfway mark but he is batting only .213 and is on pace to strike out over 250 times, add in the fact that he is a defensive nightmare and it’s really hard to understand how he can be an All-Star. Dunn is pretty much the definition of an all or nothing player. Sure he will hit monster HRs, but baseball is much more than just that.
Mike Napoli, Texas Rangers: Napoli seemed to have been selected to the game based on his enormous second half from last season not for what he has done this year. He has 12 HRs, 30 RBIs, .233 AVG, with an OPS of .767, not exactly big time numbers. Throw in the fact that he is far from a great defensive catcher and this is yet another curious choice. Should a player be rewarded for what he did after ant ASG from last season? That’s an argument you could make, but I’m not buying it.
Pablo Sandoval, San Francisco Giants: This one purely gets blamed on the Giant fans for stuffing the ballot box. Sandoval has only played 47 games for San Francisco this season, only has seven HRs, only 28 RBIs. He is batting .313 but that is the only thing All-Star worthy about his season. If you’re a conspiracy theorist, perhaps the reason why Madison Bumgarner and/or Ryan Vogelsong didn’t make it is because Sandoval got in.
Huston Street, San Diego Padres: Let’s follow the Giants conspiracy. If Sandoval doesn’t get in, than perhaps the Padres lone representative is the player more deserving like 3B Chase Headley and not Street who has thrown a whole 22 innings this season. Just doesn’t seem right now does it? Street’s numbers do look great, 1.23 ERA with a WHIP of .636 but he is not All-Star worthy at this point in his career.
Lance Lynn, St. Louis Cardinals: Now the players voted Lynn in so there is no conspiracy here so the Reds can’t complain about Lynn getting in over Johnny Cueto, nor can the Brewers about Zack Greinke. Still both of those pitchers should be at this game ahead of Lynn along with a few others. Lynn has had a good first half, not great, but good. His ERA of 3.62 and WHIP of 1.247 support this. Question is would you want Lynn pitching in a crucial situation on Tuesday with the game on the line? I’m betting no.
Ryan Cook, Oakland Athletics: Now Cook’s numbers do look impressing, 1.50 ERA and a WHIP of .917, but let’s face it, not to many of those innings he has pitched, 36, have been crucial innings. He was named the closer about a month ago and does have eight saves but OF Josh Reddick would seem to be a much better choice, especially with the American League taking three designated hitters (Billy Butler, David Ortiz, Adam Dunn). Might be nice to have a position player on the bench late in the game.
Jose Altuve, Houston Astros: Now I know Altuve is a nice story, being vertically challenged and all, but nothing else about his game screams All-Star. At his size, power is not his game as his five HRs will attest to, 25 RBIs is nothing to write home about either. Does he have speed? Some, but still 13 SBs isn’t anything all that special. A .303 AVG with an OBP of .345 are good numbers, but once again not really special. Have to think there are better choices at 2B than these numbers would indicate.
Dan Uggla, Atlanta Braves: Obviously Uggla’s numbers aren’t ones I would use to replace Altuve. Uggla started the season like he was picking up where left season left off, especially in the power department, but has certainly trailed off of late as he is in a horrific slump that has seen his average fall to .229 and hasn’t hit a long ball in almost a month. Perhaps there is a void at 2B in the National League or perhaps the Cardinal-Red conspiracy is true and that’s why these two went over Brandon Phillips?
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