The rosters for the 2010 MLB All-Star game were revealed yesterday and for the most part the fans did a good job. However there were some things that the fans, other players, and even the managers got wrong.
What They Got Right.
First and foremost, Charlie Manuel did the right thing by leaving Stephen Strasburg (2-2, 2.45 ERA) off of the All-Star Game roster. It would have been an injustice to place a rookie with six starts on the roster over someone like Tim Hudson (8-4, 2.44 ERA). In fact Strasburg isn’t even the most deserving rookie pitcher left off the roster. I could argue that Jaime Garcia (8-4, 2.10 ERA) is more deserving, but I’ll save that for a rainy day.
The entire American League roster is solid. From Robinson Cano to Justin Morneau to Vladimir Guerrero, I don’t have a real problem with any of the picks. If I had to nitpick, I’d give a spot to Vernon Wells instead of Ichiro, but the guy is a career .333 hitter so I’m just nitpicking.
One final thing I like is that Charlie Manuel and Joe Girardi actually picked some middle relief pitchers. If this game really “counts” it’s nice to see the managers acting like it and choosing guys that are accustomed to pitching in the late innings of a game.
What They Got Wrong.
The biggest mistake here was made by Bud Selig who now says this game decides home field for the World Series, but that’s not about the rosters so I’ll save that for another time.
The two biggest issues on these rosters come from the National League. Someone needs to explain how Joey Votto (.312, 19 HR, 57 RBI) and Mat Latos (9-4, 2.62 ERA) were left off the roster. Votto leads the league in OPS. He’s second in on-base percentage and slugging. He’s in the top five in all three Triple Crown categories. He’s arguably the MVP in the whole league. Latos is one of the many spectactuar Padres pitchers. In his last 10 starts he’s 7-1 with a 1.79 ERA and he’s the only pitcher in baseball history to hold every batter he’s faced below the Mendoza line.
The other issue I have with this National League team comes with the starting line up. I’m happy that Yadier Molina is an All-Star, but I’m not sure I think he should be starting. He’s batting average of .231 is the lowest of any All-Start since Cal Ripken was batting .229 in 1993. I can’t argue Molina is superior defensively but Brian McCann should be starting this game behind the plate for the National League.
A few other names that should be on the All-Star rosters are:
Felix Hernandez: He’s third in the league in strikeouts, tied for the lead in quality starts. He Leads the league in innings pitched, is fifth in opponent OPS, and he just shut out the Yankees in Yankee Stadium.
Billy Wagner: By just about any metric you want to use, he’s been the best closer in the National League. Leads all NL closers in WHIP and opponent OPS. He’s been scored on in just four appearances all year. The league is hitting .165 against him, why isn’t he on the team?
Brennan Boesch: How can a guy with a .342 average, .603 slugging percentage and .991 OPS not be on this roster? He’d be second in the league in hitting, fourth in slugging and fourth in OPS if he had enough plate appearances to qualify. Basically, he’s having the year people expected Jason Heyward to have — except he’s not named Jason Heyward.
Colby Rasmus: When I filled out my ballot, Rasmus was the first NL outfield name I wrote down. Seventh in the league in slugging. Eighth in homers. He just slipped out of the top 10 in average. Leads his team in steals and is getting better every day.