Posted 07/03/2011 at 02:00 PM
While C.C. Sabathia and Mark Teixeira will get the most press as All Star snubs the Yankees have six players on the roster and somebody on the team had to take the fall for the players voted in as Derek Jeter and to a lesser extent Robinson Cano* and Curtis Granderson* are questionable all-star choices. Russell Martin may also be considered a puzzling All Star selection with his .223 batting average and .329 on-base percentage but he was a manager’s choice and the pickings are fairly slim at Catcher in the AL if carrying three catchers is a priority. Here are a few other snubs that deserve mention in the American League:
*Many may take exception here but across the board Howie Kendrick is having a better season than Cano at 2B and you could make a compelling case for Dustin Pedroia (look at on-base percentage if you have questions). Granderson has 22 home runs but with 83 strikeouts (second most in AL) and sinking numbers in June there are plenty of other quality outfielders that could have been chosen (had Granderson not been voted in). Also the case for Teixeira is pretty weak, sure he has 25 home runs but a .244 batting average should be an eliminating factor, particularly looking at Paul Konerko and Adam Lind being left out with better numbers in just about every category except for being a few behind in homers.
Paul Konerko, 1B, Chicago White Sox: Like Gordon, Konerko is part of the final spot vote in but it is a shame he is not being given a spot on his own merit, whether chosen as a back-up at 1B or taken as a DH as his numbers are far superior to Michael Young’s. Konerko may go down as one of the most underrated players ever as he has been an all-star just four times despite eight 27+ home run seasons and a career .282 batting average. Konerko is on pace to having a career season with a .317 batting average (would be the highest of his career) and 21 home runs and 62 RBI. The White Sox have been a disappointment but taking Konerko as a third player at 1B or as a DH would have made more sense than Quentin’s selection as the Chicago representative, and even regardless of team affiliation it is stunning to see a player that is fifth in the AL in batting average, fourth in home runs, and third in RBI not make the all star team.
Alex Gordon, OF, Kansas City Royals: Kansas City has to have an All Star and Gordon seemed like the obvious choice with a .301 batting average while leading all AL outfielders in doubles. His numbers compare favorably with the other outfielders selected with a nearly identical stat-line as Matt Joyce or Josh Hamilton and arguably better numbers than Carlos Quentin or Michael Cuddyer. The Twins also had to have an All Star and Cuddyer made sense as that choice which hurt Gordon’s cause. Royals rookie reliever Aaron Crow was selected as the lone representative and with no disrespect to Crow who is having an excellent season, it was an indefensible choice. The Royals are obviously one of the worst teams in baseball and Crow has rarely pitched in meaningful moments with games on the line and with less than 40 innings the strong numbers are not terribly significant.
Philip Humber, SP, Chicago White Sox: Chicago has not enjoyed a great season but it would be much worse without Humber’s contribution. He has just eight wins but his 2.69 ERA is among the top seven in the AL and he has the fourth lowest WHIP among AL starters. Humber currently has a quality start in eleven of his last twelve outings and he has not allowed more than four runs in any of the 17 games he has pitched in, delivering remarkably consistent results. He does not have electric strikeout counts but he has certainly been more reliable than All Stars David Price, C.J. Wilson, and Felix Hernandez. Taking Humber also could have freed up the outfield spot that the AL gave to Quentin to put a more deserving player in the offensive reserves.
Ricky Romero, SP, Toronto Blue Jays: If you wanted a strong young left-hander in the bullpen for the All Star game Romero would have been a more deserving choice than Price or Wilson and while Gio Gonzalez might get a slight nod on the raw numbers, pitching for Toronto in the AL East is significantly more difficult than pitching in the spacious grounds in Oakland. Romero’s numbers are among the league’s best in every major category and his path has been a difficult one, pitching against the Yankees twice, as well as facing Boston, Philadelphia, and St. Louis. Romero is penalized for his 7-7 record but the ground we thought we made up in diminishing the win as a key statistic last year with Hernandez winning the Cy Young at 13-12 may have been lost if Romero can’t be an all star at 7-7.