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Sunday, July 08, 2018

Here’s what the 2018 All-Star teams should look like

“On Sunday, Major League Baseball will announce its All-Star teams, a combination of fan voting, player ballots and league picks. There will be questionable choices. There will be snubs. There will be 62 names, with two more to come from the Final Vote and even more via injury and pitching replacements. Those are the teams you’ll see July 17 in Washington, D.C.

These are the teams you should see.”

Hank Gillette Posted: July 08, 2018 at 06:54 AM | 36 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: all-star game, jeff passan

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   1. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: July 08, 2018 at 01:20 PM (#5706923)
He listed Mitch Moreland as starting at first base for the AL, which seemed like a joke at first. I mean, I knew he was having a good year, but--Mitch Moreland???

But I looked it up and dammmmn what happened to AL first basemen?

OPS+, min 40 games played at first, AL:

1. Mitch Morelad, 135
2. Justin Smoak, 122
3. Yuli Gurriel, 119
4. Matt Olson, 118
5. Jose Abreu, 112
6. John Hicks (?), 111

That's it for guys over 100. Whaaa? I miss 1996!
   2. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 08, 2018 at 01:38 PM (#5706927)
It should be Abreu. He's a legitimate star, and is likely to end the season with numbers as good as anyone else on that list. And the White Sox have to send somebody.

Is it just me, or is the All-Star Game really late this year?
   3. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: July 08, 2018 at 02:30 PM (#5706933)
All Star game is at the usual time but late in terms of games played because of the early start.
   4. DavidFoss Posted: July 08, 2018 at 02:57 PM (#5706940)
Not counting the strike year, this is the first time it has been as late as the 17th since 1979. It's been in the seven day range of 10th-to-16th (Tuesday following second July Sunday) since 2003. Not sure why they didn't have it on the 10th this year.
   5. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: July 08, 2018 at 03:08 PM (#5706943)
Or you know, it’s late. My brain is apparently a week behind.

ANyway, Jose’s system for picking all start teams;

1. Fan vote starters
2. Best player at each position
3. Best player on each team
4. Second best player at each position still unfilled.
5. Fill in the rest.

If you go with that every team gets their best player on the roster, the best 2 players at each position make the roster. You still will probably get some “snubs” but I think it’s a good system.

I will say I feel like over the last decade or so it has improved. You still get the odd “what is that guy doing on the team” but for the most part I feel like it’s pretty well done.
   6. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: July 08, 2018 at 03:09 PM (#5706944)
Oh, and “best player” my system is;

1. Great player having great year
2. Great player having good year
3. Good player having great year

So for example I agree with the above comment that it should be Abreu over Moreland.
   7. Walt Davis Posted: July 08, 2018 at 04:53 PM (#5706987)
Not sure why they didn't have it on the 10th this year.

AS games are a big deal for the host city/team and take a lot of planning which is why they're announced a few years ahead of time. The decision to start 2018 at an earlier date was likely made well after the date for the AS game had been set. Now why not the 10th? No idea, maybe some other big event happening in that city that week. Or the owner is at Wimbledon.
   8. Bote Man Posted: July 08, 2018 at 06:23 PM (#5707023)
I'm of the mind (non-grumpy division) that whoever ends up on the All-Star Team deserves to be there, by definition. It may very well NOT be the "best" player at his position, but by gum if the fans want to see him out there then he should be out there. Save your consternation for Hall of Fame ballots, which almost count for something.
   9. Howie Menckel Posted: July 08, 2018 at 08:29 PM (#5707044)
Or the owner is at Wimbledon.

which itself is very late this year.

the men's final is next Sunday - two hours before a certain prominent soccer championship is held that may include, well, England.
   10. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: July 08, 2018 at 08:31 PM (#5707045)
I’ve literally never heard of the Tigers’ All-Star.
   11. cardsfanboy Posted: July 08, 2018 at 08:43 PM (#5707049)
Oh, and “best player” my system is;

1. Great player having great year
2. Great player having good year
3. Good player having great year

So for example I agree with the above comment that it should be Abreu over Moreland.


I've argued for years that you almost by definition have to include second half stats of last season in evaluating your all star selections. But I agree with your general point, a two month hot streak should never be the primary factor in determining who plays in the all star game. Exceptions to that basic rule is well regarded rookies/imports having a great start to their career. So I wouldn't begrudge Ohtani or someone else getting included.

Generally I try to look at the guys having good years this year and narrow the list down to 3-6 or so names, then I try to look at how they have performed since the all star break of last year and combined this and last year numbers, and then look at their career numbers. Being a great player or having a great first half is a good tie breaker.


   12. Count Vorror Rairol Mencoon (CoB) Posted: July 08, 2018 at 08:49 PM (#5707050)
Four Yankees are heading to the 2018 All-Star Game. MLB announced the All-Star Game rosters Sunday and the Yankees will be represented by Aroldis Chapman, Aaron Judge, Luis Severino, and Gleyber Torres in Washington next week. Judge was among the fan voting leaders and will start the All-Star Game for the second straight season. Here are the full All-Star roster


Pity that GLEYBER! likely won't be healthy enough to play ...


“I called him in and was like, ‘Have you done any work today?'” joked Aaron Boone following Gleyber’s All-Star selection. “‘What’s going on with your leg? You’re probably going to have to get that right so when you go to DC next week you can tip your cap properly.'”


From RAB
   13. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: July 08, 2018 at 09:13 PM (#5707053)
A player with negative 1.1 WAR was selected for the NL All-Star team.
   14. Walt Davis Posted: July 08, 2018 at 09:15 PM (#5707054)
You've never heard of Nick Castellanos? This is his 5th year as a starting ML player and he's got a kinda memorable name. My main issue is confusing him with Lonnie Chisenhall -- both came up as decent-hitting but apparently lousy-fielding 3B, switched to RF, play for AL Central teams -- the old noggin can only keep so much straight. And does this imply you have heard of Edwin Diaz and Blake Treinen?

In the AL, I too would start Abreu. That also means I might be able to ignore Moreland entirely, maybe find a lousy team rep for the backup then maybe that would give me the flexibility to stick Segura on the team. I have no opinion really on the relievers, SPs look fine. All told, very minor quibbles.

In the NL ... trying not to be too Cub fanboyish but Javy has the same WAR, practically the same OPS+, more HRs, more RBIs, 16 for 17 in steals and is the flashiest player in the game -- he starts over Scooter. (Neither of them walk much so that doesn't really help Scooter much.)

Aguilar is raking but he's got just 60 starts in 89 games. I'd shy away ... but then Cub fanboy is trying to find a way to sneak Russell in. :-) (Frankly, I'd rather Russell than Schwarber and what team needs both Muncy and Schwarber?)

Where's Jason Heyward? (I kid)

Albies got off to that blistering start but it's a very solid but unspectacular 277/312/458 since the end of April. He mentions the big XBH total but 22 of those came in April, 28 since. Not that he's not deserving of a bench slot but I'd at least consider dropping him if I got squeezed. Still, I'd pick him ahead of Muncy, Schwarber and Aguilar so I'm sure he's safe.

Now the Padres rep I have never heard of. I'd be OK if Lester lost his spot if there's a more deserving or 1-team-rep player that needs that spot.

So no major complaints on either team. It seems maybe a strange, transitional sort of year where who the best player is at a position is changing/unclear, or the best players are having down years or, especially in the NL and maybe the AL outside the AL Central, the talent's even enough that it should be a year where there are a lot of half- and one-season wonders.

When I look at the AL, I can see 5 position players who I'd say are on a HoF pace -- Altuve, Lindor, Trout, Betts, Machado. (Calm down Yanks fans, it's only been a bit over one full season and he got a late start -- get back to me in a couple of years). On the NL side it's only Arenado and maybe Freeman and Goldschmidt (tough competition). Pitching is just too uncertain these days in terms of how future voters are going to treat low-IP starters but Verlander, Sale, Kluber, Scherzer, deGrom, Jansen and Chapman (the BBWAA loves their closers) is certainly a list of guys who've been at the top for a while.
   15. Davo and his Moose Tacos Posted: July 08, 2018 at 09:22 PM (#5707057)
14–For some inexplicable reason, the Tigers All-Star is “Joe Jimenez,” and not Castellanos.
   16. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: July 08, 2018 at 09:31 PM (#5707060)
14–For some inexplicable reason, the Tigers All-Star is “Joe Jimenez,” and not Castellanos.
Anonymous Reliever?

(checks)

Yep, Anonymous Reliever,
   17. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: July 08, 2018 at 09:38 PM (#5707063)
A player with negative 1.1 WAR was selected for the NL All-Star team.


An outfielder with an insane -22 fielding runs. Blackmon is clearly not having a great year at the plate, and maybe someone else is more deserving, but it's not because of his -22 fielding runs, which can and should be ignored, or at least greatly discounted.
   18. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: July 08, 2018 at 10:24 PM (#5707071)
two hours before a certain prominent soccer championship is held that may include, well, England.


If there is a god, this will not happen. They are far and away the least exciting team left in the competition. Their fans are insufferable and the team itself continues to harken back to days from past tournaments about how hard done by they've been. Well they've only played one good team so far this time around, Belgium's B squad, and they still lost. As much as I loathe Crotia's antics, I will be pulling for them big time. Needless to say because of this, England will probably win 3-0 with beautiful, free flowing football just to spite me.
   19. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 08, 2018 at 10:29 PM (#5707072)
A player with negative 1.1 WAR was selected for the NL All-Star team.

Since Charlie Blackmon's offensive WAR is actually +1.1, I'm assuming his negative overall number resulted from too many balls getting tangled up in his beard. That dude looks positively Amish.
   20. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 08, 2018 at 10:35 PM (#5707075)
After seeing that list of AL pitchers, it wouldn't shock me if the NL got shut out as long as Hinch uses his best 9 and doesn't get sentimental.
   21. Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: July 08, 2018 at 10:40 PM (#5707076)
An outfielder with an insane -22 fielding runs. Blackmon is clearly not having a great year at the plate, and maybe someone else is more deserving, but it's not because of his -22 fielding runs, which can and should be ignored, or at least greatly discounted.

Is that a Coors thing? It seems like Colorado produces a disproportionate share of OFers with abysmal defensive ratings.
   22. Howie Menckel Posted: July 08, 2018 at 10:47 PM (#5707079)
two hours before a certain prominent soccer championship is held that may include, well, England.
If there is a god, this will not happen. They are far and away the least exciting team left in the competition. Their fans are insufferable and the team itself continues to harken back to days from past tournaments about how hard done by they've been.

hard to dispute

but this Irishman has $5 on England at 16-to-1 from last month, so I can live with their progress
:)
   23. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 08, 2018 at 11:38 PM (#5707094)
Is that a Coors thing? It seems like Colorado produces a disproportionate share of OFers with abysmal defensive ratings.


Absolutely. Gerardo Parra is in the major leagues only because he is an excellent defensive outfielder, and he's at -6 runs saved this year.
   24. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: July 08, 2018 at 11:48 PM (#5707095)
Absolutely. Gerardo Parra is in the major leagues only because he is an excellent defensive outfielder, and he's at -6 runs saved this year.


-3. And last year he was +5. He was -7 in 55 games in BAL in 2015, -5 in 146 games in MIL in 2014 and 2015, so it's not just a Coors thing.
   25. Walt Davis Posted: July 08, 2018 at 11:57 PM (#5707098)
14–For some inexplicable reason, the Tigers All-Star is “Joe Jimenez,” and not Castellanos.

Sorry, I thought you meant from the linked article, not the actual list (which I didn't realize had been announced yet). Joe Jimenez is not someone I'd heard of.

The machinations are explained at ESPN. A lot of it comes from the silly player vote. I don't know if it's still done in the very stupid way it used to be done but, give or take, whoever finishes 2nd in the player vote at a position makes it as a back-up. (If the players actually vote for a different starter than the fans, that guy gets to be the back-up of course. But I suspect the agreement between players and fans on who should start is reasonably high.)

So in the AL, per the ESPN article, once all the players assigned by fans and players is done with, the league/manager only has 5 spots left. In the AL this year, there were still 5 teams with no rep so they had to choose one of each and they mostly only had reliever slots available. Hence, Joe Jimenez. They noted they could have chosen Castellanos over Choo but that would have meant a Ranger pitcher making the AS team which would have been even crazier.

The insane snub is Blake Snell but apparently Verlander pitches Sun so won't be going, I'm sure they'll put Snell there. Also Gleyber Torres is on the DL so that's another open spot for one of Simmons, Correa, Segura.
   26. Bote Man Posted: July 09, 2018 at 01:47 AM (#5707107)
That dude looks positively Amish.

I had Charlie Blackmon pegged as an ent, especially from a certain angle.

Also, THIS TIME IT DOESN'T COUNT!!
   27. Lindor Truffles Posted: July 09, 2018 at 01:51 AM (#5707108)
Bauer is taking Verlander’s spot. Even as a Tribe fan, Brantley is a pretty bad pick (for a second consecutive year, no less). Bump him (.7 WAR) make Rosario (4.0) the Twins rep, bump Berrios (2.2) for Snell (4.3).
   28. cardsfanboy Posted: July 09, 2018 at 06:33 PM (#5707340)
In the NL ... trying not to be too Cub fanboyish but Javy has the same WAR, practically the same OPS+, more HRs, more RBIs, 16 for 17 in steals and is the flashiest player in the game -- he starts over Scooter. (Neither of them walk much so that doesn't really help Scooter much.)

Aguilar is raking but he's got just 60 starts in 89 games. I'd shy away ... but then Cub fanboy is trying to find a way to sneak Russell in. :-) (Frankly, I'd rather Russell than Schwarber and what team needs both Muncy and Schwarber?)


My cardsfanboy wants to find a way to argue for Molina(119 ops+ and had his ball exploded this season) and Matt Carpenter 137 ops+ after a dismal start to the season. But I can see why both didn't make it, although I doubt anyone seriously believes Molina is a -4 rField, but that injury hurt him with plate appearances, when the season ends he'll probably be top three among catchers in the NL, but he's fairly far down the list this year, and several catchers in the NL are having good offensive seasons.
   29. Walt Davis Posted: July 09, 2018 at 10:04 PM (#5707449)
Bauer is taking Verlander’s spot. Even as a Tribe fan, Brantley is a pretty bad pick (for a second consecutive year, no less). Bump him (.7 WAR) make Rosario (4.0) the Twins rep, bump Berrios (2.2) for Snell (4.3).

Apparently another "player's pick" which I think means he finished somewhere in the top 6 on the players' OF ballot. Given the current state of anonymous OFs around the league, it's understandable that the players would gravitate towards the vet Brantley (who's been a good player all of his career), especially any who voted early. At what point would you have picked Rosario over Brantley for example? And some breakout candidates may not have been on the ballot.

I don't know if the players' ballot still works the way it used to but in the "old days", maybe especially for something like this ... no doubt nearly every player voted some combo of Betts, Judge, Trout and Springer. Maybe a handful of friends, current and former teammates of Brantley tossed him a few votes. Or just folks who didn't notice two of those names or weren't taking it seriously and ticked off names listed early. It might take no more than 5-10 votes to finish 5th on that ballot. It's like finishing 5th in a CYA vote back in the day when they could only vote for 3 and there were 3 pretty dominant pitchers ... I know it was a strike-shortened year but even I finished tied for 6th in the 1981 NL CYA vote ... FernandoMania, what chance did I have really?
   30. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 10, 2018 at 09:28 AM (#5707563)
My cardsfanboy wants to find a way to argue for Molina(119 ops+ and had his ball exploded this season)


Cervelli has a 137 OPS+ so far - Molina hasn't even been the best non-picked catcher in the NL Central this year.

Nothing wrong with pulling for your guys, though.
   31. wjones Posted: July 10, 2018 at 10:45 AM (#5707613)
Heard this morning that Molina is going because Posey has a planned injury.
   32. A triple short of the cycle Posted: July 10, 2018 at 03:20 PM (#5707921)
Gleyber Torres is on the DL so that's another open spot for one of Simmons, Correa, Segura

Walt, no love for Lowrie?
   33. wjones Posted: July 11, 2018 at 11:16 AM (#5708290)
Saw where Lowrie was chosen to replace Torres.
   34. JJ1986 Posted: July 11, 2018 at 12:46 PM (#5708357)
It's silly to care about the 36th guy on the All-Star team, but why do they name replacements before the final vote is done? They're basically bypassing the guys who were good enough to make it into that.
   35. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: July 11, 2018 at 12:53 PM (#5708368)
If there is a god, this will not happen. They are far and away the least exciting team left in the competition. Their fans are insufferable and the team itself continues to harken back to days from past tournaments about how hard done by they've been.


This does not strike me as an accurate description of any aspect of this England team.
   36. Zach Posted: July 11, 2018 at 04:09 PM (#5708651)
I haven't been following the balloting this year. Did the Royals fans vote in all their starters again?

Sic transit gloria mundi.

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