Tuesday, July 5, 2016

All-Star rosters

OK, since the vote went to the fans for the all-star starters it has, at times, become comical.  The whole starting infield for the National League is from the Cubs.   Now, the Cubs are good but really?  Each player on their infield is having the best year of any player at their position in the National League?  I would have to do some research before I believed that.  And the Red Sox have 4 starters.   Really?

Look, this is an all-star game and there are plenty of guys who get snubbed each year who are having all-star seasons.  There are only a limited number of roster spots, I get that.  But when that problem is exacerbated by 'homer' voting for starting players then that is where I draw the line and say we need a fix for this problem.

So, if I am a manager of the all-star team here is my solution: For every guy who doesn't deserve to be a starter I don't take a guy from that team who deserves to be on the all-star team.   

If you want to fix this ballot box stuffing that is a pretty good way, I think.  Hey, it's not like the manager couldn't justify it as there are plenty of players having good seasons who don't make the roster. 

So, I am sorry Craig Kimbrel, you don't make it.  Sorry Steven Wright, your fans screwed you from making your first all-star team.

So sorry,  John Lester, we need your spot for a player who doesn't play in a ballot box stuffing city.  It's Chicago.   There are probably dead people voting.

Now, the rosters will change due to injuries that crop up and starting pitchers who pitch on Sunday before the all-star game.    So there is a little hope, just as there is from the Final Vote players.  

As far as the Indians, you get what you get.   Naquin, Chisenhall and Ramirez were all deserving but their small sample size this year and their lack of any name recognition didn't give them a chance, especially when guys without any name recognition had to be chosen so every team would have at least one representative.   In this day of analytics it is still hard to put guys on the all-star team who are hitting .230, no matter how many HRs and RBI they have or what their OBP is so as productive as Napoli and Santana have been, the didn't stand a chance.  

There are just so many individuals who are having more well-rounded statistical years.   In terms of pitching, I think the Indians have the best starting 5 in the majors right now.   Unfortunately, every team has a #1 starter and most of them are better than our #2-5 (read: guys after Salazar).  So, while Josh Tomlin has a great record, as an all-star manager I wouldn't want to put a pitcher on my roster who has no chance of playing and I would NEVER allow Tomlin on the field.  You just don't allow guys who give up a HR every 5 innings against average major leaguers to pitch in a game with elite major leaguers.  To paraphrase a comedian I heard once:  think of the skill level of the average American League hitter...and then think half the hitters in the AL are worse than him.  Imagine Tomlin against a lineup of the best players on each team.   On paper he would likely get killed and the first game of the World Series would be in the NL champion's home park.

Maybe you make a case for Cody Allen but, frankly, there isn't much of a case.  His saves have become sloppy.   Carrasco has too small of a sample size, Kluber is just mediocre, on average, so far and Bauer's sample size as a flake is much greater than his sample size as a stud so his reputation probably killed him there.  None of our relievers outside of Dan Otero would be deserving and we all know Otero has not pitched much or in pressure situations.  A good case can be made that his easy innings help bolster his stats compared to if he had pitched in more high leverage (e.g., 8th inning setup guy) situations.

Oh well, more fodder for discussion by Cleveland fans and those who support teams not named the Red Sox or the Cubs.  In the old days when it wasn't about money I think the selection to the all-star game meant more.   Now these players are making more money in one season than their predecessors made in a career.  With the focus being on individual salaries and winning the world series, I think all-star snubs may have less weight...which explains why the fans still get to vote for the starters.

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