Okay, I kind of want to avoid talking about tonight’s game. It had a few good moments and a number of frustrating moments (I swear, there were times where the on-field action seemed to sync up with this song). Instead, let’s talk about the All-Star ballot. I know that Susan mentioned the Indians in the running for starting spots yesterday and paid particular attention to Asdrubal Cabrera.
I figured I’d take a minute to share my picks for the starting lineup, along with the current vote leader in each position. I honestly think this is the most impartial and fair I’ve been in my entire life (I’m not exaggerating, I would typically pick all 10 Indians players). I also want to encourage everyone to vote for Asdrubal Cabrera for shortstop – let’s see if we can get him the starting spot on July 12!
Catcher – Alex Avila, Detroit Tigers (current vote leader: Russell Martin, New York Yankees) My reasoning – Avila leads AL catchers in batting average (.281) and RBI (30) and is second only to Russell Martin in home runs (Avila has 8, Martin has 9). And seriously folks, Joe Mauer is currently second in voting? I know he’s a great player, but he hasn’t exactly “played” in 2011.
1B – Toss up – Adrian Gonzalez, Boston Red Sox or Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers (current vote leader: Mark Teixeira, New York Yankees) I honestly think both of these guys deserve to be on the All Star Team, so it’s just a toss-up on which should start. Gonzalez leads AL first basemen in batting average (.329) and RBI (46), while Cabrera leads in slugging (.568) and OPS (1.001). What may give Gonzalez the slight edge – his 1.000 fielding percentage.
2B – Howie Kendrick, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (current vote leader: Robinson Cano, New York Yankees) Kendrick leads AL second basemen in average (.322), OBP (.388), slugging (.520), and OPS (.908). He is second in hits (57) and runs (30) to Robinson Cano (59 and 31, respectively).
SS – Asdrubal Cabrera, Cleveland Indians (current vote leader: Derek Jeter, New York Yankees) Leads all AL shortstops in runs (37), hits (67), home runs (10), and RBI (39); third in batting average (.306), and second in OPS (.894).
3B – Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees or Adrian Beltre, Texas Rangers (current vote leader: Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees). This is another one that is extremely close, but that I’d slightly tip toward A-Rod (although both should be on the All Star Team). A-Rod leads AL third basemen in runs (32, tied with Kevin Youkilis), second in hits (56), second in home runs (9), (Beltre is the leader with 11). A-Rod is third in average (.292), and second in OPS (.845). A-Rod has a .973 fielding percentage, second only to Cleveland’s Jack Hannahan.
Outfield – Jose Bautista, Toronto Blue Jays; Matt Joyce, Tampa Bay Rays; Curtis Granderson, New York Yankees (current leaders: Bautista, Granderson, and Josh Hamilton, Texas Rangers). You can’t doubt that Josh Hamilton is a great ballplayer, although he missed significant time this season due to injury. Bautista is obviously a no-brainer, and Matt Joyce should be as well. Joyce leads all AL outfielders in batting average (.361) and he’s second to Bautista in OBP (.421), slugging (.621), and OPS (1.042). He also has a 1.000 fielding percentage. The third starting slot should go to Granderson, who is second to Bautista in home runs (17), leads outfielders in RBI (41), and is third in OPS (.960) behind Joyce and Bautista.
DH – Toss-up between Michael Young, Texas Rangers and David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox – both are worthy.
Remember – VOTE ASDRUBAL!