It looks like Boston won’t be starting any position players in the 2010 All-Star Game, but the club will be sending a league-high 6 as representatives. A half dozen Yankees were also selected.
Unfortunately, injuries will prevent some of the honored few from participating. The Red Sox All-Stars are:
Jon Lester– 10-3/ 2.76 ERA/ 1.10 WHIP/ 2.81 K:BB
Clay Buchholz– 10-4/ 2.45 ERA/ 1.25 WHIP/ 1.68 K:BB
Adrian Beltre (3B)– .341/.377/.545, 40 R/ 12 HR/ 53 RBI
Dustin Pedroia (2B)– .292/.370/.502, 52 R/ 12 HR/ 41 RBI
Victor Martinez (C)– .289/.344/.480, 36 R/ 9 HR/ 38 RBI
David Ortiz (DH)– .263/.369/.566, 43 R/ 17 HR/ 54 RBI
Each is certainly deserving, but to varying degrees. Pedroia’s blistering start made him a virtual lock, and Beltre has been at or near the top of the A.L. in terms of average all season long. David Ortiz had a monstrous May and his overall production has been excellent. And Jon Lester is among the best pitchers in baseball.
Buchholz and Martinez are slightly more surprising. The catcher position does not often lend itself to prodigious offensive numbers, so Martinez can clearly get away with his less-than-elite production. Buchholz probably made it on the strength of his fantastic ERA and the way he has stepped up as the team’s clear #2 pitcher. But his peripherals beg the question of whether or not there are more worthy hurlers out there.
The twist is that Kevin Youkilis, who is tied with Ortiz for the team lead in RBI (54) and home runs (17), and who leads the club outright in runs scored (65), and OPS (1.000), may not be selected.
Despite the excellent numbers across the board, it’s tough to call Youkilis a snub. The two first basemen who made the team instead are Miguel Cabrera and Justin Morneau, both of who have statistical advantages over Youk. Morneau has some of the same production numbers (17 homers, 54 RBI) but has posted a 1.047 OPS. Cabrera’s performance has been even better: 20 homers, 68 RBI, and a 1.048 OPS.
Although he’s in the A.L.’s top 5 in multiple categories, Youkilis’ exclusion is perhaps justifiable given the fact that he plays at a deep position. But it is not yet a final decision.
Youk is one of 5 players vying for the final roster spot, to be determined by fan voting. The decision will be made on Thursday.
In the meantime, the league’s All-Star manager, Joe Girardi, needs to make some alternative arrangements to replace a couple of Red Sox players whose health will prevent them from participating in the game. Pedroia and Martinez are out for sure, both nursing broken bones. Odds are that Buchholz will be unavailable as well.
Though the All-Star Game itself has devolved into little more than a joke, and though fully half might not play, it’s nice to see so many Sox receive the honor. Fans can only hope that Youkilis gets the nod for the final spot, earning some much-deserved recognition for his stellar first half.