NL All-Star Selections

Yesterday, I had some trouble getting onto the site, so sorry I was only able to post these now. But here’s my take on the National League All-Star team.
C- Mike Piazza Piazza (36 RC, 5.1 RC/27) is an okay choice, though his backup, Paul LoDuca (38 RC, 5.4 RC/27) would have been better. Unfortunately, with Piazza’s decline and I-Rod’s defection to the American League, the NL no longer has a premier catcher.
1B- Derrek Lee Lee is the only possible choice as the NL’s starting first baseman. He’s having a monstrous season (91 RC, 12.2 RC/27) and his pursuit of the triple crown (currently way in first in batting average, one back of first in homers, and second in RBI, six behind Carlos Lee) is tantalizing. They’re not necessarily important categories in terms of value, but I love baseball history, and am going to enjoy seeing Lee try to become the first player since Yaz to capture the triple crown. Albert Pujols (79 RC, 9.8 RC/27) is having a great season as well and is a deserving choice as the National League’s DH.
2B- Jeff Kent Kent (54 RC, 6.6 RC/27) is a good choice as the starting second baseman, though I would have preferred Chase Utley (45 RC, 7 RC/27, +7 runs defensively, +19/162 games) or Craig Counsell (51 RC, 6.1 RC/27, +9 runs on defense, +20/162 games). What is saddening, though, is that neither is on the team, even as a backup. Instead, Luis Castillo (42 RC, 6.9 RC/27) is. He hasn’t played enough to get on the team ahead of two players who have better defensive numbers and better offensive numbers.
3B- Scott Rolen Rolen? Rolen?! Rolen?!!! You mean the same Scott Rolen who has appeared in exactly 44 games? That one? The one who has put up modest offensive numbers (25 RC, 5.9 RC/27) while Morgan Ensberg (61 RC, 7.8 RC/27) has been hitting like he’s in a slow-pitch softball league all year? Scott Rolen? Rolen has generally been a great player, and who am I to argue with his past success, but he’s missed half of the season. He’s been good, but not great when he has played. If the fans wanted to reward a great player who has missed some time this year, they could have voted for Chipper Jones (34 RC, 8 RC/27). Rolen doesn’t deserve to be in Detroit for the All-Star game unless he’s in the stands. While backup Aramis Ramirez (56 RC, 7.4 RC/27) does, it’s extremely saddening to see Ensberg not even in the final fan voting. He deserves to play in Detroit.
SS- David Eckstein Another bad choice by the fans. These St. Louis guys are really screwing the NL over. Eckstein has been fine offensively (44 RC, 5.1 RC/27), but there are still guys who deserve to be in ahead of him on their offensive merits–Felipe Lopez (52 RC, 7.2 RC/27) Bill Hall (42 RC, 6.2 RC/27) and Clint Barmes (41 RC, 6.9 RC/27), namely. But what’s worse, Eckstein has been horrid defensively: -29 runs/162 games. Lopez should be starting. At least he’s in as a backup, which can’t be said for Hall, who was inexplicably snubbed in favor of Cesar Izturis (31 RC, 3.6 RC/27).
LF- Carlos Beltran National League fans have me tearing my hair out! Jason Bay (65 RC, 7.8 RC/27), Miguel Cabrera (63 RC, 7.8 RC/27), and Adam Dunn (61 RC, 7.9 RC/27) all deserved to be in the game ahead of Beltran Anyone of them could have started, though Bay’s superior defense would have gotten him my vote. Instead we get the offseason’s biggest free agent flop in Beltran (41 RC, 4.9 RC/27). He shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near Comerica Park, since Bud Selig probably doesn’t want any bombs at the All-Star game. At least all three of the aforementioned outfielders and Luis Gonzales (56 RC, 6.7 RC/27, and great defense) are going to be there.
CF- Jim Edmonds Edmonds (50 RC, 7.8 RC/27) has missed some time, but he’s been great when he has played. I’d prefer Andruw Jones (62 RC, 7.2 RC/27), but I’ll live with Edmonds, especially since Jones is backing him up. Also, while he may not be having an All-Star caliber season, Ken Griffey Jr. is finally healthy (knock on wood!) and playing well. Finally. It’s good to see him back.
RF- Bobby Abreu Finally, the clear-cut choice is actually the fans’ choice. Abreu has been having as insane season (76 RC, 9.5 RC/27) and is blowing his competition out of the water. He’s also working on his seventh straight 20/20 season (two HR to go). Moises Alou (51 RC, 8.1 RC/27) deserves to go to the All-Star game as well, as long as he doesn’t shake anyone’s hand.
Pitchers- Chris Carpenter, Roger Clemens, Livan Hernandez, Pedro Martinez, Jake Peavy, John Smoltz, Dontrelle Willis, Chad Cordero, Brian Fuentes, Jason Isringhausen, Brad Lidge Same rules as yesterday: Anyone in the top-ten in Pitching Runs Created gets an automatic bye. That means Carpenter, Martinez, Willis, Peavy, Smoltz, and Clemens are in automatically. Lidge (3rd among players with 30+ innings in FIP), Cordero (13th), and even Fuentes (19th) are all-right in my book as well. That leaves Hernandez and Isringhausen. Livan leads the NL in Innings Pitched, but he’s only three ahead of Smoltz, whose old and hasn’t started in a few years. He’s 13th in PRC, and I’d much rather see Javier Vazquez or A.J. Burnett. Isringhausen is an even worse selection, much like many of his Cardinal teammates. He’s been extremely lucky; his fielding independent numbers make him look pretty average. I’ve come to a conclusion: I hate the Cardinals.

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