With a three game lead in the division, and winners of six of their last seven games, the Baltimore Orioles learned the fate of their deserving players in next week’s All-Star Game. The Birds had three all stars selected to the team, all of which will be starters. Similarly, the O’s will have a player in the Home Run Derby for the second straight season.
While there were a few potential “snubs”, the voters did get the rest of the O’s All-Stars correct, and here’s who they are:
DH Nelson Cruz
Cruz was selected to start as the AL’s designated hitter, beating out fellow DH’s Edwin Encarnacion, David Ortiz, and Victor Martinez, among others. Cruz is absolutely deserving of the spot as he has been potentially the best player in all of baseball through this much of the season. With 28 home runs and 73 RBI’s, Cruz leads all of baseball in both of the mentioned triple crown categories. Cruz declined an invitation to participate in the Home Run Derby, with worries of it messing up his play on the field.
CF Adam Jones
Throughout much of the All-Star Voting, Jones sat in fourth or fifth place among outfielders, before finally beating out Melky Cabrera and Yoenis Cespedes for the final starting spot in the outfield. Jones is deserving of the selection, as he is currently second in hits in the AL, and in the top 10 in batting average. Jones also will participate in the Home Run Derby, and with his 16 home runs this season, Jones has the potential to put on a show in the Derby.
C Matt Wieters
Wieters was voted as the AL’s starting catcher in the All-Star game, even while missing the majority of the season. Wieters was the overwhelming winner at his position, which is a testament to his play this year. Clearly Wieters will not appear in the game due to his injured elbow, but the selection is something that Wieters can take in to next year as a goal to achieve yet again.
While the Orioles had three deserving players selected to the team, they had two players who were barely on the outside looking in:
RF Nick Markakis
Markakis has been one of the most consistent players in all of the majors this season. Batting .295, Markakis owns multiple extended hitting streaks and is currently third in the AL in hitting, with one less hit than Adam Jones. While it is difficult to have two outfielders from one team make the All-Star team, Markakis was as deserving as any of the other reserve players and his play speaks for itself.
Closer Zach Britton
Had Britton been the year-long closer for the O’s this situation may be a lot different, but with his 1.36 ERA and fourteen saves, it is hard to argue a reliever is more deserving of a selection than Zach. Had he been earning saves since the beginning of the season, Britton’s numbers would be even harder to look past when looking for All-Star caliber pitchers.