Recently, I covered my All-Star team selection for the 2010 MLB midsummer classic. Today, the American League and National League rosters were announced. There were some pretty surprising selections into the All Star team, and some pretty big snubs.
National League Snafus
While Jason Heyward had a lot of hype going into the year, he certainly hasn’t performed well enough to deserve a starting spot on the All Star roster. He’s currently hitting .251/.366/.455 with 11 home runs and 45 RBIs. His .821 OPS puts him 14th amongst outfielders. Likewise with Chris Young, he’s currently hitting .264/.326/.481 with 15 home runs and 57 RBIs. His .805 OPS puts him 19th amongst NL outfielders. While both of these players seem like somewhat of a stretch for the All Star, they weren’t terrible choices, unlike the following two.
Michael Bourn of the Houston Astros is the lone Houston representative on the All Star roster. His .678 OPS puts him at 31st in the National League. That’s an OPS worse than Jay Bruce’s, Jason Bay’s, Shane Victorino’s, and Matt Kemp’s. He’s hitting a meager .260 and the only highlight, which I can assume lead to his selection, is that he leads the NL in stolen bases with 25.
As bad as Michael Bourn is as a selection, at the bare minimum, he is a regular starter in the NL and fulfills the roster spot of the Astros. Omar Infante is a utility player for the Atlanta Braves. Yes, a utility player. A utility player was selected over all the other potential NL starting players. Even if he did qualify for the NL batting title (which he doesn’t), his OPS ranks 15th amongst NL third basemen. While he is hitting .301, he has a single meager home run, putting his slugging percentage at .378. If the Atlanta Braves were struggling and a roster spot had to be given to an Atlanta Braves player, it might be more acceptable. However, they already have Jason Heyward, Martin Prado, and Tim Hudson on the roster. It boggles the mind.
National League Snubs
There is no snub bigger than Joey Votto of the Cincinatti Reds. Joey Votto was my pick for NL MVP in a recent mid-season awards analysis. Before today’s writing, he was leading the NL in OPS, 2nd in home runs, 4th in batting average, and tied for 5th in RBIs. While Ryan Howard and Adrian Gonzalez are both having good years, its absurd that Joey Votto did not make this team. He has been superior to all other first basemen in the NL year this year in hitting, and that includes Albert Pujols.
There weren’t really any other outfielders or infielders that looked like severe snubs in the NL, however they looked like severe snubs only in the face of Michael Bourn and Omar Infante. Jayson Werth of the Philadelphia Phillies (.283/.369/.532, 13 HRs, 48 RBIs), Andrew McCutchen of the Pittsburgh Pirates (.299/.379/.450, 20 SB), Ryan Zimmerman of the Washington Nationals (.280/.373/.490, 13 HRs, 40 RBIs), Rickie Weeks of the Milwaukee Brewers (.271/.370/.458, 14 HRs, 49 RBIs), or Dan Uggla of the Florida Marlins (.268/.356/.471, 15 HRs, 46 RBIs) all would have been better selections.
The NL All Star team’s pitching roster is a pretty good group and hard to argue with. The San Diego Padres pitching staff has been incredible this year, leading the NL in ERA. So it would have been nice to see atleast one San Diego Padres pitcher on the team, such as Mat Latos (9-4, 2.62 ERA), Clayton Richard (6-4, 2.74 ERA), or Heath Bell (23 Saves, 1.77 ERA). Matt Cain of the San Francisco Giants is having another good year, but seems to always get put into the shadow of Tim Lincecum. Rookie Jaime Garcia of the St. Louis Cardinals, who has the 2nd lowest ERA in the NL would have also been a fair pick.
American League Snafus
Unlike the disasters of the NL All Star Roster, the AL one is not that bad. There were a number of players that were a stretch, but not horrific picks. Elvis Andrus of the Texas Rangers might be the only position player stretch, as he currently is 6th amongst AL short stops in OPS. While there are perhaps more suitable candidates than Ty Wigginton, he is the best Baltimore Orioles player, and fulfills the Orioles roster spot.
There were multiple AL All Star pitcher stretches, not surprisingly coming mostly from the Yankees. While CC Sabathia and Phil Hughes are both pitching well, they aren’t in the class of other pitchers. CC Sabathia’s 3.33 ERA and Phil Hughes’ 3.83 ERA rank 13th and 21st in the league. Even Andy Pettite and his 2.82 ERA would have been a better selection for the All Star team than CC Sabathia or Phil Hughes. Fausto Carmona was the other stretch player. His 3.69 ERA currently ranks 20th in the league in ERA, but he was predominantly added to fulfill the Cleveland Indians’ roster spot.
American League Snubs
The biggest snubs in the AL All Star roster are with the pitchers. Jered Weaver and Felix Hernandez currently lead the AL in quality starts. They are first and third in the AL in strikeouts, 7th and 9th in ERA, however both were left off the roster in favor of CC Sabathia and Phil Hughes. Jered Weaver was even my selection for the mid-year AL Cy Young award. Jeff Niemann of the Tampa Bay Rays currently is 5th in the league with a 2.82 ERA and would have been an excellent addition too.
With a limited number of disasters in the AL All Star roster for position players, it’s hard to find big snubs there. Alex Gonzalez currently leads all AL shortstops in OPS, home runs (15) and RBIs (42), so it’s a tad hard to understand how Elvis Andrus would have been selected over him. If the one roster spot per team rule didn’t exist, it might have been nice to see Michael Young of the Texas Rangers (.310/.356/.493, 11 HR, 51 RBIs) make the team over Ty Wigginton. Amongst outfielders, Alex Rios of the Chicago White Sox (.307/.362/.516, 13 HRs, 45 RBIs, 22 SBs) was probably the best outfielder not to make it.
“2010 American League All-Star roster”, ESPN
“2010 National League All-Star roster”, ESPN
“ESPN Statistics”, ESPN
“Baseball-Reference.com – Major League Baseball Statistics and History”, Baseball-Reference