The fans really nailed the NL starters for the All-Star Game. I only had one complaint with the fan vote, so they must be commended for getting it right. All my other complaints are really nit-picking because the NL All-Star team was well selected. Manager Bruce Bochy was too much of a homer and included a few too many Giants pitchers, so that’s the only other issue I really have. Here are the NL All-Star team snubs (written as the player who should have made it over the one who did):
Aramis Ramirez over Placido Polanco, Chipper Jones at 3B
Fans got all the starters right except for Placido Polanco at third base. There was no real standout at the position this year but Ramirez is having the best year of all NL third basemen. He should have been the starter over Polanco and the backup over Chipper Jones. It should have gone Aramis and then either Chipper or Chase Headley as the backup.
Andrew McCutchen over Jay Bruce in OF
McCutchen misses out on his second straight All-Star game in favor of a Pirates reliever. He deserved to go last year over Evan Meek and deserves to go this year. Bruce had a major power surge in May that captured everyone’s attention but h’s cooled off since then. McCutchen, with his 12 home runs and 15 stolen bases, has been the better overall player.
Mike Adams over Heath Bell, RP for Padres
The Padres needed a representative. It could have easily been starter Tim Stauffer who’s pitched quite well this year. Bell isn’t a bad selection, but his setup man, Mike Adams, is more deserving. Adams has pitched more innings and has been more unhittable. Adams has only allowed 19 hits and five walks in 37.1 innings. He’s been stellar three years in a row and probably deserved the nod over Bell.
Jordan Zimmerman over Tyler Clippard, P for Nationals
Mike Morse could have been the Nats rep and may still earn the fan vote. Danny Espinosa could easily be the backup second baseman over Brandon Phillips. But the guy who really should be there is Jordan Zimmerman. Zimmerman has thrown 102.2 innings of 2.63 ERA ball. Ignore the 5-7 record and look at what he’s done and you realize he should be there.
Craig Kimbrel over Brian Wilson, RP
Giants manager Bruce Bochy was a major homer, putting four of his pitchers on the staff. That was a stretch. I would have rather seen Kimbrel, John Axford, Francisco Cordero, or Carlos Marmol over Wilson. Kimbrel has thrown more innings than any of these guys, and his stuff is filthy. He has 67 strikeouts in 42 innings — far more than any other closer. He deserved the nod.
Ed Note: Wilson was a players’ pick, the other three Giants pitchers were Bochy’s picks.
Kyle Lohse over Ryan Vogelsong, SP
Vogelsong has been great for the Giants this year and his choice is understandable, especially considering that Bochy was doing the picking. However, Kyle Lohse has thrown 30 more innings than him. That’s a big deal. Lohse has made 17 pretty excellent starts for St. Louis and has been their best starter. Vogelsong has been great for San Francisco, but the difference in innings pitched is wide. Put it this way, if Vogelsong had thrown 30 more innings, I guarantee he’d have worse numbers than he has now.
Here are several other players who deserved consideration:
Phillies – Antonio Bastardo, LHP
Braves – Tommy Hanson, RHP (lack of innings hurts his case)
Nationals – Mike Morse, 1B; Danny Espinosa, 2B; Drew Storen, RP
Marlins – Mike Stanton, OF; Logan Morrison, OF; Anibal Sanchez, SP
Brewers – John Axford, RP
Pirates – Jeff Karstens, SP
Cubs – Carlos Marmol, RP
Astros – Wandy Rodriguez, SP
Diamondbacks – Miguel Montero, C; Ian Kennedy, SP; Daniel Hudson, SP
Rockies – Seth Smith, OF; Carlos Gonzalez, OF; Todd Helton, 1B; Jhoulys Chacin, SP
Padres – Tim Stauffer, SP; Chase Headley, 3B
Dodgers – Andre Ethier, OF; Hiroki Kuroda, SP