Posted 27 May 2014 - 03:20 AM
All of a sudden, second basemen are banging the ball all over the American League. In the Top Ten for hitting are Robinson Cano, Ian Kinsler, and Jose Altuve and all of these guys have superior OPS numbers to Dozier at this point. Add in that Dozier won't get the fan vote and that perennial All-Star Dustin Pedroia is healthy and I doubt that Dozier deserves an All-Star nod, despite being the Twins' most complete, and perhaps best, player. Dozier's high walk rate has dropped dramatically and his batting average has dipped below .250 after a nice surge.
So, who goes? I guess the easy answer is to give Glen Perkins another All-Star slot. He is among the league leaders in saves, strikes out more than a batter an inning and he was there last year, although he didn't get to pitch. Perkins overall numbers are satisfactory, no more than that. He's blown a couple saves and has been shaky in a handful of others. If the AL manager goes with 4-6 closers, I suppose Perk makes the cut. If he goes with fewer, I think there are better options.
Another candidate would be Phil Hughes, who may become pitcher of the month for May. Hughes is 5-1 with a low 3 ERA and all the numbers are trending in the right direction. If this were to continue for another month, the Yankee retread would be both a great story and a fitting candidate to make the AL staff, but a bad outing or two between now and then would knock Hughes out. Finally, there is Kurt Suzuki. Signed late as a free agent, Suzuki has done well handling the staff and is currently hitting close to .300. Not many catchers are having good years, so perhaps Suzuki could slip in as a backup to whoever wins the catcher voting.
My fear is that when selection time comes, that the Twins won't have a deserving All-Star. It has happened before (Dave Engle, Ron Coomer and Michael Cuddyer), but it would be a black eye for the host team. Ah well. The team seems to invite black eyes these days.
Posted 27 May 2014 - 07:56 AM
I think Suzuki's chances are great as long as he doesn't crash back down to earth in June.
Posted 27 May 2014 - 07:58 AM
Other than that: Perkins, Hughes and Dozier all deserve nods IMHO.
Posted 27 May 2014 - 08:27 AM
Of all the candidates, Doizer probably has the longest shot simply because of the well known second basemen in the AL. That being said, I can't see Dozier missing this ASG with the way he's been playing. He'll be on it as a reserve, even if it's a last minute addition. (The old, "Oh, suddenly the starter is injured" trick)
Posted 27 May 2014 - 08:33 AM
Suzuki is leading the AL Catchers in OPS among qualified players
Hughes is trending in the right direction but he will need 10+ wins to get there and a low ERA.
Fien could deserve a spot if his ERA gets down to around 1.00. that's when the middle relievers make it or if they have a ridiculous strike out rate which Fien does not.
Perkins crazy strike out to walk rate. Left handed power closer. I would want him in my pen if I was managing the all star team.
Of these 5 I think Dozier, Suzuki, and Perkins have the best chance to make the team. I think its great that we have 5 players worth discussing if they deserve to make the all star team. If only we had a few more....
Posted 27 May 2014 - 08:40 AM
My second choice is Perk. He leads the AL in saves (despite pitching for a sub-.500 team), and is a hometown boy.
Hughes has a shot if he continues to pitch like he has been, but he had a shaky start, so one poor outing probably eliminates him.
Mauer is so far down the list in 1b production that I can't envision him getting hot enough to get close to deserving a spot on the roster.
Zuke has had a great start to his season, offensively at least, but I think he regresses to the mean for the next month and falls out of consideration.
My best guess right now: Dozier and Perk.
Posted 27 May 2014 - 10:01 AM
Posted 27 May 2014 - 11:39 AM
Dozier will absolutely make it, as will Perkins. Suzuki is not going to happen. The All-Star game is about baseball trying to market its product as much as it is about the game. Joe Mauer WILL be on the team. Considering the game has a DH, his position is irrelevant. He will make it this year based on his body of work and that the game is played in MN. Politics will get him in.
Could be, but I think it will be a sad travesty if he makes it. There are currently 8 first basemen ahead of him in OPS, and ten ahead of him in slugging. It would be unfair for him to leapfrog at least half of those guys. And to make it as a DH, you have to compare him to all AL players...and Joe currently has 45 AL hitters ahead of him in OPS. When he was a catcher, Joe could always count on getting voted in, mostly because of body of work and name recognition. But I don't see him ever getting voted in over Miggy and Pujols, so his only chance is being a manager selection, and that is always a more objective process. I think the day Joe agreed to move to first is the last day he ever could think about an all star game.
Harsh, I know...but competition at 1b is completely different from that at catcher.
Posted 27 May 2014 - 12:01 PM
If his productions slips even more by the time Sano or Vargas come up could Mauer be relegated to bench? say a .270/.360/.360 line isn't that great.
Mauer's stat line is not good this year, but I attribute it to defensive shifts, allowing the most hittable pitch of the at bat to slip by, and perhaps lingering effects of the concussion and back spasms. But Joe is an elite hitter, and I expect him to adjust to how pitchers and defenses are playing him. I'm confident he is going to start swinging at that first pitch fastball, and learn to use the whole field (pulling the ball occasionally). If he does, he can be a productive starter into his late 30s.