National League All-Star team, if MoreSplashHits were picking reserves, pitchers
The All-Star starters and reserves will be announced on Sunday at 10 a.m. on TBS. So that gives us a couple of days to consider who should be on the team.
So if MoreSplashHits were in Tony LaRussa’s position — and in a way we are; neither one of us is managing in the bigs this season — this is how we could draw up the National League All-Star.
We’re going to start with assuming that all the players who were leading in All-Star voting as of Tuesday will hold on to win. That’s no sure thing because more than 11 million online votes were cast, so close balloting could easily win.
But we’ll use Tuesday’s voting as a starting point, and we’ll add some caveats later. We’re not saying this SHOULD be the starting lineup. Actually, I guess we are. Because we’ve always believed if players get the votes, they should start. That’s the way the All-Star Game works.
The National League selects 25 reserves (including pitchers). We’re going with the past formula of selecting 12 position players and 13 pitchers.
(Based on leaders in most recent balloting results)
- 1B — Joey Votto, Reds
- 2B — Dan Uggla, Braves
- SS — Rafael Furcal, Cardinals
- 3B — David Wright, Mets
- C — Buster Posey, Giants
- OF — Matt Kemp, Dodgers
- OF — Carlos Beltran, Cardinals
- OF — Ryan Braun, Brewers
RESERVE POSITION PLAYERS
1B — Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks (11 HR, 35 RBI, .299) — First base is a little lean in the NL, but Goldschmidt is clearly the best of what is left. Heating up after a slow start.
2B — Jose Altuve, Astros (5 HR, 23 RBI, .309) — Altuve will be the Astros’ lone representative on this team. But that’s not why is on the list. He’s earned his spot, leading all 2B in hitting.
2B — Aaron Hill, Diamondbacks (11 HR, 38 RBI, .302) — Hill made a big late push to make his way on this team. But two cycles in one season is good enough for us.
SS — Starlin Castro, Cubs (6 HR, 39 RBI, .297) — Whenever he remembers how many outs there are, Castro has been the best shortstop in the league.
3B — Chase Headley, Padres (8 HR, 38 RBI, .272) — Headley having decent, but not necessarily All-Star season. But the Padres need a representative and we can’t find another.
C — Carlos Ruiz, Phillies (11 HR, 43 RBI, .356) — Chooch is a no-brainer.
C — Yadier Molina, Cardinals (12 HR, 44 RBI, .311) — St. Louis fans are grumpy about Molina being behind Posey in the voting. But their seasons are VERY similar and Posey plays in the tougher park. Still, Molina’s earned a spot.
OF — Melky Cabrera, Giants (7 HR, 38 RBI, .355) — The Melkman is another no-brainer, on his way to another 200-hit season.
OF — Andrew McCutchen, Pirates (15 HR, 51 RBI, .344) — The Pirates knew what they were doing when they locked up McCutchen long term.
OF — Michael Bourn, Braves (7 HR, 28 RBI, .306) — Bourn is a run-scoring machine atop the Braves’ lineup.
OF — Carlos Gonzalez, Rockies (17 HR, 58 RBI, .338) — His home/road splits aren’t great, but his overall numbers are clearly All-Star worthy.
OF — Giancarlo Stanton, Marlins (17 HR, 47 RBI, .278) — The Marlins need a representative and the power-hitting Stanton is certainly deserving.
SP — R.A. Dickey, Mets (11-1, 2.31 ERA) — Really can’t deny Dickey a spot.
SP — Matt Cain, Giants (9-2, 2.27 ERA) — Mr. Perfecto definitely makes the team.
SP — James McDonald, Pirates (7-3, 2.44 ERA) — Do you think the Dodgers want him back?
SP — Stephen Strasburg, Nationals (9-2, 2.60 ERA) — Got to take the NL’s K leader.
SP — Gio Gonzalez, Nationals (10-3, 2.78 ERA) — Better earlier than lately but still good enough to make team.
SP — Johnny Cueto, Reds (9-4, 2.26 ERA) — Cueto has finally figured it out. Been great since last All-Star break.
SP — Ryan Vogelsong, Giants (7-3, 2.23 ERA) — Made All-Star team last year because his skipper was manager. Now, he makes it no matter who is managing.
SP — Wade Miley, Diamondbacks (9-3, 2.19 ERA) — Not in the rotation to start the season, now he’s the Snakes’ ace
SP — Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers (5-4, 2.74 ERA) — More fallible this year than last, but still really good. Record is not his fault. Basically, this boiled down to the better Dodgers: Kershaw or Chris Capuano. Over past 12 months, Kershaw has better resume.
RP — Craig Kimbrel, Braves (0-1, 1.55 ERA, 22 saves) — League-leader in saves.
RP — Sergio Romo, Giants (2-1, 0.83 ERA, 4 saves) — Sexy pick is to select teammate Santiago Casilla, but Romo has been flat-out filthy. Or should I say Romolicious.
RP — Joel Hanrahan, Pirates (3-0, 2.10 ERA, 20 saves) — Big part of the Pirates’ surprise season.
RP — Aroldis Chapman, Reds (4-4, 1.98 ERA, 9 saves) — Chapman brings the big heat and tiny WHIP (0.74)
A quick look at close votes
- OF: If Cabrera beats out Braun, Braun still makes roster as Brewers’ representative.
- C: If Molina beats Posey, Posey still makes the team as a reserve. Gotta have three catchers.
- 3B: If Pablo Sandoval beats out Wright, Wright makes the team as a reserve. However, that would cost Aaron Hill his spot in a tough-luck decision.