Picking the All-Stars: NL Edition

Yesterday, we tackled the American League. Today, we do the NL. If you read the intro to yesterday’s post, you can just skip on down to the picks, as the next few paragraphs are the same as they were in the AL post. If you didn’t read that post, keep reading.

The All-Star Game isn’t for another 35 days, but with the voting in full swing and enough of the season under our belts, I figure it’s time to weigh in on how I’d fill out the roster if I were Grand Poobah and had the final say on all 34 players. I will note up front that I believe the All-Star Game is an annual affair, and we shouldn’t simply have the same collection of players every year just because those are the “true stars”. The All-Star Game is best when it serves as both a platform for the game’s greatest players and recognition for those who have earned their way in. I will not be putting players on the roster who have not performed well in 2013, even if they are bonafide stars.

As a reminder, the rosters now comprise 34 players, which I’ll be splitting as 21 position players and 13 pitchers, as that has been the final tally for the game most of the last few years. And, yes, we’re honoring the rule requiring every team to be represented. I’ll list each player by the tier of how they got selected, then put the final roster down below. On to the picks.

The Game Would Be A Farce Without Them

These players are the epitome of All-Stars; great players having great seasons. I imagine there will be little disagreement about any of these 14 selections. It’s hard to imagine a reasonable case for excluding any of these players, assuming they stay healthy for the next few weeks anyway.

Troy Tulowitzki, COL, SS: +4.0 WAR
Joey Votto, CIN, 1B: +3.0 WAR
Carlos Gonzalez, COL, OF: +3.0 WAR
Yadier Molina, STL, C: +2.6 WAR
Andrew McCutchen, PIT, OF: +2.5 WAR
David Wright, NYM, 3B: +2.5 WAR
Buster Posey, SFG, C: +2.1 WAR
Brandon Phillips, CIN, 2B: +2.0 WAR
Ryan Braun, MIL, OF: +1.8 WAR

Adam Wainwright, STL, SP: +3.8 WAR
Cliff Lee, PHI, SP: +2.8 WAR
Clayton Kershaw, LAD, SP: +2.8 WAR
Jordan Zimmermann, WAS, SP: +2.2 WAR
Craig Kimbrel, ATL, RP: +0.6 WAR

They’ve Earned It

You wouldn’t have necessarily pegged these guys as All-Stars headed into the season, but their 2013 performance has been so stellar that they have to be there. You might have a different line for how great a performance needs to be to overcome a lack of a track record, but these nine players should clear most people’s bar and get in based on their performance to date.

Carlos Gomez, MIL, OF: +3.9 WAR
Matt Carpenter, STL, 2B/3B: +3.4 WAR
Everth Cabrera, SD, SS: +3.2 WAR
Jean Segura, MIL, SS: +2.9 WAR
Paul Goldschmidt, ARI, 1B: +2.8 WAR
Dexter Fowler, COL, OF: +2.5 WAR
Shin-Soo Choo, CIN, OF: +2.2 WAR

Matt Harvey, NYM, SP: +3.0 WAR
Shelby Miller, STL, SP: +2.3 WAR

The Team Representative

These guys are mostly worthy candidates anyway, but they are also the best choice to represent the two franchises that did not have a player listed above.

Jeff Samardzija, CHC, SP: +2.0 WAR
Jose Fernandez, MIA, SP: +1.0 WAR

The Reserves

With 16 hitters and nine pitchers already on the roster, that leaves us nine spots to fill, so it’s time to start looking at where the holes are. We’ve already covered most of the spots on the field with the position players above, but because of the DH, we probably need to take an extra bat oriented player and then fill out the roster with deserving players. Here are the nine guys who both fit the All-Star criteria and fill the current openings.

Russell Martin, PIT, C: +2.0 WAR
Marco Scutaro, SFG, 2B: +2.0 WAR
Evan Gattis, ATL, C/OF: +1.9 WAR
Jedd Gyorko, SD, 2B/3B: +1.8 WAR
Bryce Harper, WAS, OF: +1.7 WAR

Pat Corbin, ARI, SP: +1.9 WAR
Jason Grilli, PIT, RP: +1.7 WAR
Mark Melancon, PIT, RP: +1.0 WAR
Aroldis Chapman, CIN, RP: +0.8 WAR

The Final Roster

That leaves us with these 34 players. The starters are listed first and are in bold, with the reserves afterwards. Because I know it’s going to come up, Carpenter is listed as the backup third baseman to Wright because there are no other viable All-Star third baseman in the NL this year, and so I took extra second baseman and shifted Carpenter back to third. While he probably has earned a starting spot based on his play, there’s no shame in backing up Wright, and if he started at second base, he’d have to play the whole game. So, Phillips gets the start at second and Carpenter is Wright’s reserve.

Name Team Position PA AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ Fld BsR WAR
Yadier Molina Cardinals C 246 0.351 0.390 0.487 0.378 145 1.1 -1.3 2.6
Buster Posey Giants C 240 0.297 0.375 0.493 0.371 142 -1.6 -0.6 2.1
Russell Martin Pirates C 198 0.251 0.338 0.434 0.340 119 4.4 0.4 2.0
Joey Votto Reds 1B 298 0.328 0.446 0.520 0.413 165 0.8 1.7 3.0
Paul Goldschmidt Diamondbacks 1B 276 0.313 0.389 0.571 0.407 157 3.6 1.1 2.8
Brandon Phillips Reds 2B 265 0.292 0.345 0.475 0.350 121 3.9 -0.2 2.0
Marco Scutaro Giants 2B 258 0.332 0.388 0.444 0.365 137 -1.1 0.3 2.0
Jedd Gyorko Padres 2B 255 0.284 0.341 0.461 0.347 128 -0.8 0.6 1.8
Troy Tulowitzki Rockies SS 245 0.353 0.420 0.651 0.450 179 6.2 -1.1 4.0
Everth Cabrera Padres SS 301 0.294 0.369 0.412 0.346 127 3.5 5.0 3.2
Jean Segura Brewers SS 268 0.340 0.373 0.538 0.390 150 -1.2 2.6 2.9
David Wright Mets 3B 253 0.275 0.372 0.459 0.362 134 -0.1 5.1 2.5
Matt Carpenter Cardinals 3B 281 0.327 0.409 0.473 0.386 150 5.7 0.8 3.4
Carlos Gomez Brewers OF 252 0.316 0.357 0.573 0.393 152 11.6 1.7 3.9
Carlos Gonzalez Rockies OF 281 0.300 0.377 0.615 0.418 157 1.0 2.9 3.0
Andrew McCutchen Pirates OF 259 0.290 0.359 0.455 0.350 125 5.2 2.3 2.5
Dexter Fowler Rockies OF 271 0.303 0.397 0.498 0.389 137 -0.4 3.6 2.5
Shin-Soo Choo Reds OF 300 0.280 0.430 0.483 0.400 155 -9.1 1.0 2.2
Ryan Braun Brewers OF 242 0.304 0.380 0.509 0.376 140 0.6 0.2 1.8
Bryce Harper Nationals OF 178 0.287 0.386 0.587 0.411 165 -0.2 -0.3 1.7
Evan Gattis Braves DH 175 0.263 0.326 0.603 0.386 148 1.7 0.3 1.9
Name Team Position IP BB% K% HR/9 ERA- FIP- xFIP- WAR RA9WAR
Clayton Kershaw Dodgers SP 100.1 7% 25% 0.45 51 71 83 2.6 3.6
Adam Wainwright Cardinals SP 96.0 2% 24% 0.19 63 46 65 3.8 3.1
Matt Harvey Mets SP 90.0 6% 28% 0.40 57 58 74 3.0 3.4
Cliff Lee Phillies SP 95.1 4% 22% 0.47 66 65 85 2.8 2.7
Shelby Miller Cardinals SP 75.1 6% 28% 0.48 51 63 81 2.3 2.8
Jordan Zimmermann Nationals SP 94.2 4% 17% 0.57 52 80 91 2.2 3.5
Jeff Samardzija Cubs SP 85.0 8% 28% 0.85 80 77 78 2.0 1.6
Pat Corbin Diamondbacks SP 81.2 7% 20% 0.44 49 76 99 1.9 3.4
Jose Fernandez Marlins SP 65.1 9% 25% 0.83 82 89 90 1.0 1.2
Jason Grilli Pirates RP 27.2 6% 44% 0.00 26 12 44 1.7 1.5
Mark Melancon Pirates RP 31.1 3% 27% 0.29 31 47 50 1.0 1.6
Aroldis Chapman Reds RP 28.0 11% 42% 0.96 57 61 62 0.8 1.0
Craig Kimbrel Braves RP 24.1 6% 35% 1.11 48 74 58 0.6 1.1

And, finally, the starting line-up.

1. Andrew McCutchen, CF
2. Joey Votto, 1B
3. David Wright, 3B
4. Troy Tulowitzki, SS
5. Carlos Gonzalez, LF
6. Bryce Harper, DH
7. Carlos Gomez, RF
8. Yadier Molina, C
9. Brandon Phillips, 2B

Based on both career track record and 2013 performance, this is how I’d fill out the NL All-Star roster. There are a lot of great players who didn’t make the cut, and there are certainly judgment calls here that could have gone another direction, but overall, I think this is a pretty good set of players who would represent the National League quite well.



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Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
RMD
Guest
RMD
3 years 19 days ago

Minor over Melancon is the only easy change I’d make.

KJ
Guest
KJ
3 years 19 days ago

I have no idea why he included a decent (but not great) reliever like Melancon over an all-star worthy starter like Minor for a roster spot.

Los
Guest
Los
3 years 19 days ago

You can’t split up Mark & Cheese!!!

Andrew
Guest
Andrew
3 years 19 days ago

If you don’t like relievers, that’s normal… but Melancon’s FIP is sixth in the majors and second among NL relievers (behind only Grilli). Seems better than “decent”

Adam
Guest
Adam
3 years 19 days ago

Mark Melancon’s not having a great year?

KJ
Guest
KJ
3 years 19 days ago

Melancon is having a good year, not a great year. I would prefer a top tier starter over a reliever any day. Grilli is probably the only reliever in baseball that should be an all-star this year.

David
Guest
David
3 years 19 days ago

Mariano Rivera should be an All Star, this year, next year, and every year, in perpetuity.

Blockhead
Member
Blockhead
3 years 19 days ago

@KJ, please point what has only been ‘good, not great’

Here’s his stats with NL RP ranks in parentheses (min. 20 IP)

1.64 SIERA (2nd), 1.79 FIP (2nd), 1.96 xFIP (2nd), 1.15 ERA (3rd), 1.0 WAR (3rd), 20 SD (1st)

What exactly does he need to do to have had a great year so far in your eyes?

jg941
Guest
jg941
3 years 18 days ago

To KJ Says: Why? These guys all end up pitching an inning in the AS game – what’s the magic of a starter being there vs. a reliever?

Melancon’s numbers are what they are. If he’s the #2 reliever in the NL and has the 6th-best FIP in all of baseball….what are we talking about? That’s what the AS Game is for, right?

Billy
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Billy
3 years 18 days ago

thank you l1ay!! I can’t understand how anyone thinks those numbers are “good, not great” they’re almost otherwordly at this point.

Bob
Guest
Bob
3 years 19 days ago

Maybe because there are already nine starters mentioned? Or maybe because Melancon is better than Minor this year in almost every stat that isn’t cumulative? (Is Melancon ‘decent but not great’? Sure. Is he having an amazing first half? Absolutely.) Or maybe because there would only be three relievers?

Anon21
Guest
Anon21
3 years 19 days ago

Or maybe because Melancon is better than Minor this year in almost every stat that isn’t cumulative?

You actually can’t just compare a relief pitcher’s rate stats to a starting pitcher’s rate stats. Sorry, but out of these two, Minor is undoubtedly the All Star.

Brandon
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Brandon
3 years 19 days ago

I’d take 82 innings of very good pitching vs 31 innings of excellent pitching, and so would every other MLB team.

Los
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Los
3 years 19 days ago

Whenever an All-Star game lasts 82 innings, we will make sure Mike Minor is on the roster then.

Andrew
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Andrew
3 years 19 days ago

@Brandon: then add Minor and remove fellow Brave Kimbrel, who was the worse stats of the four NL relievers (or actually add Latos or Bailey, both of whom are having comparable/better seasons than Minor)

Brandon
Guest
Brandon
3 years 19 days ago

I’m don’t disagree with that, especially re Bailey. I’m just saying comparing a starter to a reliever by k% or bb% is silly, and minor is easily better this year than Melancon.

Bob
Guest
Bob
3 years 19 days ago

You’re right. Comparing a starter to a reliever is silly.

tehzachatak
Member
tehzachatak
3 years 19 days ago

How about Trevor Rosenthal over Melancon? Stats back that up and it’s a 1:1 move. Plus, Rosenthal’s more exciting.

Clifford
Guest
Clifford
3 years 18 days ago

cept the stats don’t back that up.

Izzy
Guest
Izzy
3 years 19 days ago

Kind of remarkable how far Justin Upton has fallen.

KJ
Guest
KJ
3 years 19 days ago

Upton will make the actual all-star team and my guess is that no one will question it by the time the game is actually played.

jg941
Guest
jg941
3 years 18 days ago

Possibly – the K rate is starting its usual climb and, as it does, pitchers will stop pitching around him becasue of his hot April and the BB rate will plummet. And the defense is crappy.

Definite tailspin candidate from here out, but at least he’s not as godawful as his brother. Too bad you couldn’t transplant BUp’s glove onto JUp

KJ
Guest
KJ
3 years 18 days ago

He’s looked a lot better the last couple of games and hit a 430 foot home run yesterday. Hopefully that is the start of a new hot streak.

You are right about the glove though. That has been really disappointing.

Alex Matechak
Guest
Alex Matechak
3 years 19 days ago

The MLB should just let fangraphs make the all star roster each year.

Hawk Harrelson
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Hawk Harrelson
3 years 19 days ago

I bet you think they should let those fan graphers and their calculators play the games, too! Will to win! Stretch!

johnorpheus
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johnorpheus
3 years 19 days ago

Melancon over Rosenthal and his 12+ K/9? C’mon.

Bob
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Bob
3 years 19 days ago

Rosenthal definitely has him beat there. What he doesn’t have him beat in is one single other stat.

David
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David
3 years 19 days ago

The most meaningful stat… Outs recorded.

by 2…

Los
Guest
Los
3 years 19 days ago

Wilton Lopez has more outs recorded than either of them. Wilton Lopez is an ALLSTAR!!!

Logic'd
Guest
Logic'd
3 years 19 days ago

Just got Logic’d.

Jey
Guest
Jey
3 years 19 days ago

…ERA?

He has him beat in WAR. I’m not sure what you’re getting at. They’re both good choices. I would pick Rosenthal because of the psychological effect of bringing in a guy with a 100 mph fastball and also because he doesn’t have a 4 year career of mediocrity preceding this season. But yeah, both good choices.

Andrew
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Andrew
3 years 19 days ago

I think Bob was probably referring to, among other stats: BB/9, GB%, FIP, xFIP.

But I agree with your conclusion that they are both good choices and pretty close to one another.

Bob
Guest
Bob
3 years 19 days ago

Melancon’s ERA is 1.15. Rosenthal’s is 1.69. He has Melancon in WAR by .1. But yes, I was referring to every other rate stat. No knock on Rosenthal, entirely worthy of a spot. More of a knock on isolating the one rate stat Rosenthal is superior and saying it’s conclusive.

Jey
Guest
Jey
3 years 19 days ago

It was the “one single stat” that threw me off. That would seem to allude to WAR but, again, Rosenthal has the better WAR.

Bob
Guest
Bob
3 years 19 days ago

I kinda like to think that a difference of .1 WAR in the middle of June is a push, but you’re correct. Rosenthal has him there.

TKDC
Guest
TKDC
3 years 18 days ago

@Andrew,

Nobody has better stats than anybody in the stats that that person has better of.

Los
Guest
Los
3 years 19 days ago

I want to say AJ Burnett deserves the nod but I can’t find a pitcher who he would clearly be a better choice than. Probably one of Chapman/Kimbrel but I would prefer those two over AJ in a one inning outing.

rjbiii
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rjbiii
3 years 19 days ago

Based on those numbers shouldn’t Carpenter be starting over Phillips at 2B?

Wobatus
Guest
Wobatus
3 years 19 days ago

He explained that. He has no other back-up 3b so if Carpenter started at 2b he or Wright would have to play the whole game.

Of course, this could be solved by having Todd Frazier be back-up 3b. He has 2 WAR, same as Scutaro and Phillips, so one of them could be dropped, with Carpenter starting at 2b.

Pence, Parra or Marte may deserve a spot over Braun, although he does get the “star” nod. I question whether he’s really earned his UZR, since that takes a while to stabilize, but he has been better as a fielder last year and a half per that metric. Braun’s been pretty good and hurt, but Pence’s WAR especially is a lot higher. I suppose it is an All-Star team not an All-WAR team.

Big Sexy
Guest
Big Sexy
3 years 19 days ago

Can you not make a case for bouncing out Braun in the top tier for his teammate Carlos Gomez…not just on WAR but the overall 5 tool ability he has showcased this year?

Izzy
Guest
Izzy
3 years 19 days ago

No, since the top tier is for the perennial All Stars like Braun. Not guys having great first halves.

jon
Guest
jon
3 years 19 days ago

Tier’s are not performance based. People can have the same season’s in tiers 1 and 2 but the first tier was great players having great years. Carlos Gomez is not a ‘great player’ historically.

hscer
Member
3 years 19 days ago

I’m a Nationals fan and a huge Jordan Zimmermann fan, but I’m a little surprised you had him in the can’t-miss category, especially considering his SP company there. I thought there was some concern with him about a low SO/9 and HR/9 regression, and he’s never produced more than 3.4 WAR–a fine number, but he’s no Wainwright, Lee, or Kershaw.

cass
Guest
cass
3 years 19 days ago

I think you have to start looking at RA/9 Wins for Zimmermann. He’s outperformed his FIP both this year and last and I think we can start to believe some of that.

chuckb
Guest
chuckb
3 years 19 days ago

“This year and last” means 1 1/3 seasons. It’s a little early to say that he’s definitively a guy who outpitches his FIP.

skippyballer486
Member
skippyballer486
3 years 18 days ago

Definitively does not mean the same thing as definitely.

boomer
Guest
boomer
3 years 19 days ago

I think a representative of the Rockies bullpen needs to be in the all star game – such as Rex Brothers who has an ERA of 0.31 – I know his WAR is only 0.8 – but Brothers is lights out solid.

Urban Shocker
Member
Urban Shocker
3 years 19 days ago

Cargo has a higher SLG than Votto. Baby Cargo.
Just sayin.

CabreraDeath
Member
CabreraDeath
3 years 19 days ago

Great list. One quibble: AJ Burnett. Not sure who’d he replace (I’m thinking Jordan Zimmerman), but dude has been really good.

Anyways, good stuff.

Kogoruhn
Member
Kogoruhn
3 years 19 days ago

Absolutely no way does Burnett deserve a sport over Zimmerman

Alex
Guest
Alex
3 years 19 days ago

I had no idea Gattis’s WAR had climbed above Justin Upton’s. Wow.

Hamba
Member
Hamba
3 years 19 days ago

Me neither, and I had set my ScoreMobile app to inform me if and when this happened. Damned computers; I don’t even know why the scientists invented them.

scruddet
Member
scruddet
3 years 19 days ago

Amazing, considering he has 75 less PA than Yadier. It’s a shame, if you extend his production over 75 more PA, he’d be the obvious #1 catcher, and probably an early MVP candidate.

I’m a Braves fan, if it isn’t obvious…

Giant WOBA
Guest
Giant WOBA
3 years 16 days ago

The only thing is his home run distance is pretty fragile. Like Yadi-2012, he’s hitting a lot of dingers that barely go over the fence.

Rex Brothers
Guest
Rex Brothers
3 years 19 days ago

How many scoreless innings do I need to throw?

Ben
Guest
Ben
3 years 19 days ago

No love for Dom Brown?

Hamba
Member
Hamba
3 years 19 days ago

Only as friends.

Hamba
Member
Hamba
3 years 19 days ago

But seriously I’d add him in place of Choo. I’m just no Shin-Soo him.

Muggi
Guest
Muggi
3 years 18 days ago

He’ll probably get in. The voters always love HR’s.

Hamba
Member
Hamba
3 years 19 days ago

*not that

pudieron89
Guest
3 years 19 days ago

well, you screwed that one up.

Anon
Guest
Anon
3 years 19 days ago

I understand your reasoning for Matt Carpenter playing 3B (though I think better solutions to the problem exist), but why is he the backup? Comparing him to Wright, seems to me that Carpenter should be the starter.

Jey
Guest
Jey
3 years 19 days ago

Because Citi Field. Also because Carpenter is a utility player who could be used at several positions depending on need, which would be particularly useful late in the game if they needed to move him around.

attgig
Guest
attgig
3 years 19 days ago

when are they going to hand out biogenesis suspensions…. it better happen before the all star game, and those names not be a part of the list come summer classic time….*ahem* Braun….

Anon
Guest
Anon
3 years 19 days ago

Why is Kershaw starting?

Wainwright and Harvey both look like clearly better choices.

Frank
Guest
Frank
3 years 19 days ago

Because Kershaw’s better?

Bill
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Bill
3 years 19 days ago

Not this year.

chuckb
Guest
chuckb
3 years 19 days ago

As a Cards’ fan I’ve got no problem with Wainwright making the team and not pitching.

Jey
Guest
Jey
3 years 19 days ago

I don’t know who I would bump but if I’m Bruce Bochy I’d be dying to get Trevor Rosenthal and his 100 mph fastball onto the roster. This year he has the second highest WAR among NL relievers as well as the third lowest FIP and SIERA. His fastball is tied with Chapman for highest average velocity.

Los
Guest
Los
3 years 19 days ago

What? No Bryan Lahair?

Ivan Grushenko
Guest
Ivan Grushenko
3 years 18 days ago

He changed his name to Evan Gattis

vivalajeter
Guest
vivalajeter
3 years 19 days ago

It’s just a shame that Wright won’t actually get to start the game at Citi Field, as the Giants fans will give Sandoval more than enough votes to get the undeserving nod.

EricR
Guest
EricR
3 years 19 days ago

Someday NY will get the internet so their fans can vote, too.

cs3
Guest
cs3
3 years 18 days ago

its so unfortunate that not very many people live in New York.
if only they had a larger population so they could compete with SF maybe the voting would be fair.

LK
Guest
LK
3 years 19 days ago

As a philosophical question – relievers tend to perform better than starters on a per inning basis, even though starters are obviously the most talented pitchers in the game. One would assume that in a format like the ASG, the starters who are only pitching 1-2 innings at a time would get a boost in performance relative to when they have to pitch 6+ innings, but how much of one? Is a starter pitching 1 IP in an ASG comparable to how that starter would perform if he were placed in the bullpen as a short reliever full time? And if not, could the optimal pitching staff for a single game like this consist of the 9 best relief pitchers each assigned a single inning? Not sure if there’s a definitive answer, but I’d be interested to hear people’s thoughts.

Dubuque, IA
Guest
Dubuque, IA
3 years 19 days ago

As long as we are being philosophical, what do you mean by “starters are obviously the most talented pitchers in the game?”

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
3 years 18 days ago

I think the implication is that many relievers (certainly not all) are failed starters, and many who were marginal-to-bad starters went on to find quite a measure of success relieving.

I'm not your meme
Guest
I'm not your meme
3 years 19 days ago

I would rather have Kimbrel, Chapman, and Mariano Rivera for 1 inning than any other pitcher in all of baseball.

Oasis
Guest
Oasis
3 years 19 days ago

None of those pitchers can hold Strasburg’s jockstrap

Blur
Guest
Blur
3 years 19 days ago

Then it’s a good thing they’re paid to pitch.

Oil Can Boyd
Guest
Oil Can Boyd
3 years 19 days ago

Bochy will choose Sergio Romo (surge protector) who has had a great year

Bryan
Guest
Bryan
3 years 19 days ago

I can’t complain about Pablo not being there. On performance he doesn’t deserve it. But dammit, as an irrational fan, I want to see him take a hack at the plate!

Rick
Guest
Rick
3 years 19 days ago

I think he’d be perfect to pinch hit with when the AL brings in Verlander to pitch.

Reuben
Guest
Reuben
3 years 19 days ago

I think there’s a case for Hunter Pence (2.6 WAR) sneaking in over Fowler – park-adjusted he’s having a pretty similar offensive year to Fowler, and is an equally good baserunner. So I guess it’s just a question of whether the defensive stats are in any way believable or just SSS.

cs3
Guest
cs3
3 years 18 days ago

More like its just a mattter of “who would Bochy rather take? Fowler, or Pence?”

hmmmmmmm

Randy
Guest
Randy
3 years 19 days ago

Carlos Beltran, Allen Craig, Lance Lynn, Trevor Rosenthal, and Edward Mujica wonder if the best team in baseball should be better represented.

SurprMan
Member
SurprMan
3 years 19 days ago

Way to represent the “best fans in baseball”, Whinypants!

Jay
Guest
Jay
3 years 19 days ago

I literally had to look at the date to see if you were talking about last year? So no Dom Brown, who is the ENTIRE Phillies offense….and you are singing the praises of Pence and Braun…ummm…ok….well, if you are a fan of crossing your fingers every time the ball is hit to Pence, and you are a fan of a soon to be 3x convicted druggie, well by all means!

dp04
Guest
dp04
3 years 19 days ago

I don’t think you know what convicted means.

Hamba
Member
Hamba
3 years 19 days ago

I’m not sure he knows what 3 means.

Razor
Guest
Razor
3 years 18 days ago

Also… “entire;’ “singing;” “druggie”

espn.com
Guest
espn.com
3 years 16 days ago

Were you looking for me?

jruby
Member
Member
jruby
3 years 19 days ago

I’m a big Phillies fan (sigh) so I would really like to see him in the game. But, when I compare him with each of the OFs already on this list, I just can’t justify swapping any of them out. I couldn’t put him in over Choo, Gonzalez and McCutchen or Gomez with a straight face. Harper’s more exciting and better. Braun’s still just crazy good. Fowler’s close… Meh. At most, people are cautiously optimistic about Dom. A few more fingers, and maybe a SB or two, may push him over the edge

jruby
Member
Member
jruby
3 years 19 days ago

A few more *dingers, obviously, is what I meant before my iPhone corrected it. I’m not claiming that Armando Benitez should come back and pitch the all-star game…

steex
Guest
steex
3 years 19 days ago

I believe you mean Antonio Alfonseca rather than Armando Benitez.

jruby
Member
Member
jruby
3 years 19 days ago

Yeah, I definitely did. DAMN AUTO-CORRECT.

Jason B
Guest
Jason B
3 years 18 days ago

Your auto-correct turns “Alfonseca” into “Benitez”?! Holy cow, I gotta get that app. Does it transliterate any random baseball player into any other random player? Or just relievers to other relievers, catchers to other catchers, etc? Does it work across all major sports? Across all active and past players? NEAT!

That John Jaha is a surefire hall of famer! Did I say John Jaha?! I meant PUJOLS! AUTO-CORRECT!!!

jruby
Member
Member
jruby
3 years 18 days ago

Works exactly like that Jason B. like the time I wanted to write “Unfortunately, the Cubbies’ success will be short-lived” and it got auto-corrected to “Kerry Woods will be in the Hall of Fame someday”

EricR
Guest
EricR
3 years 19 days ago

Antonio Alfonseca had extra fingers. Benitez just gave up extra dingers.

Hank
Guest
Hank
3 years 19 days ago

Remember when Dave called Marco Scuataro’s contract “irrational exuberance” this off season…. ahhh good times.

He may pay off (in terms of value) his 3 year contract in this year alone.

Kogoruhn
Member
Kogoruhn
3 years 19 days ago

Isn’t he out the next 4-6 weeks?

Ehsan Kassim
Guest
3 years 19 days ago

Think Ozuna (1.6 WAR) has a little better case than Fernandez, but neither would be a bad choice for the Marlins representative. Of course with 35 days left, we all know Stanton is capable of going on a ridiculous run and stealing that honor.

Robby
Guest
Robby
3 years 19 days ago

McCutchen is a fine CF, but I can see no reason to put him there when you have Gomez on the roster.

Visitor
Guest
Visitor
3 years 19 days ago

Like with yesterday’s AL post, here is what a pure (as much as possible) fWAR team for the last 12 months would be.

Starters:
C Buster Posey-SF
1B Joey Votto-Cin
2B Chase Utley-Phi
SS Ian Desmond-Was
3B Chase Headley-SD
OF Andrew McCutchen-Pit
OF Ryan Braun-Mil
OF Carlos Gomez-Mil
DH Yadier Molina-StL*

1B Paul Goldschmidt-Ari
2B Brandon Phillips-Cin
2B Aaron Hill-Ari
2B/3B Matt Carpenter-StL
SS Jimmy Rollins-Phi
SS Troy Tulowitzki-Col**
3B David Wright-NYM
3B Aramis Ramirez-Mil
OF Jason Heyward-Atl
OF Bryce Harper-Was
OF Matt Holliday-StL
OF Justin Ruggiano-Mia***

SP Adam Wainwright-StL
SP Clayton Kershaw-LAD
SP Cliff Lee-Phi
SP Jordan Zimmermann-Was
SP Homer Bailey-Cin
SP Mat Latos-Cin
SP Matt Harvey-NYM
SP Kris Medlen-Atl
SP Johnny Cueto-Cin
SP Wade Miley-Ari
SP Jeff Samardzija-ChC****
RP Craig Kimbrel-Atl
RP Jason Grilli-Pit

*I’m listing him there as the highest WAR of anyone outside the other starting 8. It would be rather silly to use him as the DH, though. David Wright is next up, so he would really be the DH while Molina became the backup catcher. His presence is also why I did not list a catcher on the bench.
**Actually tied with Ryan Zimmerman for last spot, but Zimmerman has gotten his in 150 games while Tulowitzki has gotten his in 59 (!) games, so I’m giving Tulowitzki the nod. I would have had to switch them even if I hadn’t, in order to give the Rockies a rep.
***In as a team representative, replacing Everth Cabrera.
****In as a team representative, replacing Cole Hamels.

vivalajeter
Guest
vivalajeter
3 years 19 days ago

Do they have a DH when it’s played in an NL park?

Also, while I see the value in a rolling 12-month period, it just doesn’t work for some people. Headley was great in the 2nd half of last year, especially in September, but there’s no way I can bring someone to the AS game if he hasn’t produced this year.

Visitor
Guest
Visitor
3 years 19 days ago

I just think it’s interesting to look at it, not really saying that it’s how the team should be.

I think the ASG is always played with the DH, but to tell the truth I don’t care about the game much, so I could be wrong. The last time I watched the ASG was in about 1996.

Dylan MacKinnon
Guest
Dylan MacKinnon
3 years 1 day ago

I dont think we should be making our decisions on WAR, or FWAR. I hate how people use that stat like it is the be all end all.

gdc
Guest
gdc
3 years 19 days ago

Panda. Don’t let Verlander blind you into forgetting him.

Wub
Guest
Wub
3 years 19 days ago

In my very humble opinion, I think Gerardo Parra could qualify.

Ivan Grushenko
Guest
Ivan Grushenko
3 years 18 days ago

He’s certainly fun to watch.

Bronnt
Member
Bronnt
3 years 19 days ago

The only thing I know for sure about the NL All-Stars is that Evan Gattis needs to pinch hit in the 8th/9th inning with runners on base.

Bookbook
Guest
Bookbook
3 years 18 days ago

I have no quibble with this excellent list, but am struggling mentally with thinking of Brandon Phillips as a “great player” in the class of most of the others in that tier.

Zach
Guest
Zach
3 years 18 days ago

Mujica has to make this team. He’s perfect so far this year

jg941
Guest
jg941
3 years 18 days ago

Seriously hoping that Biogenesis cheaters like Braun and Everth Cabrera get bounced before the ASG, whether by fan vote, Bochy or MLB suspensions.

Joel
Guest
Joel
3 years 18 days ago

For a moment please picture Everth Cabrera with a Barry Bonds size head……we would have the first live bobble head playing in the ASG.

TKDC
Guest
TKDC
3 years 18 days ago

Goldschmidt should be the DH (that doesn’t exist, but if you’re going to put one, it should be him). He’s been a bit under Harper this year, but with 100 more PAs. That’s not a small number.

MLB Rainmaker
Member
Member
MLB Rainmaker
3 years 18 days ago

No Puig? This is whole list is a sham…

DowntownChico
Member
DowntownChico
3 years 18 days ago

I completely agree. He’s a lock for the HOF. How can he not be on the all-star team?!??!

101213
Guest
101213
3 years 18 days ago

What about Hunter Pence? By WAR, he has been the 3rd best outfielder in the National League so far this year!

Reds Homer
Guest
Reds Homer
3 years 18 days ago

OK, I get it. Hah! You have the best hitter in the galaxy not named Miguel Cabrera batting in the two-hole and the league leader in RBIs batting 9th.

Geronimo
Guest
Geronimo
3 years 17 days ago

Votto should be batting 2nd everyday. He is also the reason why Phillips has so many RBI, which is an irrelevant stat in this discussion anyway.

MITCH
Guest
MITCH
3 years 15 days ago

NO DOM BROWN ??, LEADING LEAGUE IN HOMERS – 5TH IN RBI’S, HITTING 280 %, PLAYER OF THE MONTH IN MAY.!!!

Jon
Guest
Jon
3 years 12 days ago

No love for Freddie Freeman…

Dylan MacKinnon
Guest
Dylan MacKinnon
3 years 1 day ago

Dom Brown should be in there. Over Evan Gattis.

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