When it comes to the All-Star game there are always going to be those who should have made the roster, the snubs. The American League has the most glaring snubs in Brian Dozier, Alex Rodriguez, Corey Kluber and other pitchers that were passed over by relievers. While the National League has mostly been praised by pundits and analysts of the roster being solid.
If you’re in Cardinal Nation, you don’t like the roster. Many of you have taken to social media to discuss your outrage over Matt Carpenter and Kolten Wong being left out of the game.
When it comes to All-Star voting the system is fairly simple. The starters are voted by the fans. The reserves are voted by a combination of the MLB players and each league’s managing staff. Home-field advantage for the World Series is on the line and every team must be represented, this can cause a player or two to be overlooked or passed over due to versatility and representation.
The starters, as voted by the fans are the following:
Catcher – Buster Posey; First base – Paul Goldschmidt; Second base – Dee Gordon; Third base – Todd Frazier; Shortstop – Jhonny Peralta; Outfield- Bryce Harper, Giancarlo Stanton and Matt Holliday.
Remember, that was done by the fans voting, some of them being you. You managed to get Peralta and Holliday in as starters and Yadier Molina, Carpenter and Wong finished second at their positions.
Now for the players vote.
Catcher – Yadier Molina; First base – Anthony Rizzo; Second base – DJ LeMahieu; Third base – Nolan Arenado; Shortstop – Brandon Crawford; Outfield – Andrew McCutchen, Joc Pederson, AJ Pollock. Pitchers selected: Max Scherzer, Gerrit Cole, Zack Greinke, Shelby Miller, Jacob deGrom, Trevor Rosenthal, Aroldis Chapman, Mark Melancon.
Remember, that is a players vote.
Now for manager Bruce Bochy’s picks. Bochy is responsible for these selections, however, it is a group of his managing staff that will help decide these players.
1. Kris Bryant – He was selected to replace the injured Giancarlo Stanton. This allows McCutchen to start in the outfield.
2. The Padres, Brewers and Phillies were still left without representation. Deservedly so, Justin Upton represents the Padres. Francisco Rodriguez for the Brewers and Jonathan Papelbon for the Phillies.
3. AJ Burnett was then selected. He is a deserving candidate with his ERA at 2.05 and how much he has improved from last season. It is also his first selection in what he has stated will be his final year.
4. Then Madison Bumgarner. Maybe he wasn’t the most worthy candidate, but when you win the World Series, you can make this pick.
5. Michael Wacha was selected. With the Cardinals rotation being dominate overall, I would say this is a worthy pick. Carlos Martinez could have been selected here, as well.
6. Needing more position players, Bochy then selected Joe Panik, he isn’t the home run threat, but having a very nice season. He also added Adrian Gonzalez and Yasmani Grandal. The Grandal selection is appropriate as you typically want to carry three catchers.
Players for the final vote: Johnny Cueto, Carlos Martinez, Jeurys Famila, Troy Tulowitzki and Clayton Kershaw.
Now that you have time to have swallowed how the process works, let’s break all of this down.
When it comes to pitching there were several deserving candidates. Cole Hamels didn’t even make the Final Vote list and was passed over by Papelbon. I would have went with Hamels, but maybe he didn’t want another starter. It was a tough year for pitchers.
As for the hitters there is only one glaring mistake. DJ LeMahieu voted by the players. I believe the players should get a vote. They are surrounded by the game, playing it at the highest level and for the most part, did a really nice job. LeMahieu was not a good selection. When it comes to second base players – yes, Wong would have been a better selection – along with Joe Panik and several other players that have a better WAR than LeMahieu.
Does this mean Wong should have been selected? Well, not necessarily. A third second basemen isn’t all that necessary, but let’s look at Panik vs. Wong when it comes to statistics.
Player A: At-bats -306; Runs – 41; Hits – 93 – Doubles – 21; Home runs – 6; RBI – 30; BB – 30; K’s -38; .304/.370/.444 WAR 2.9
Player B: At-bats -302; Runs – 43; Hits – 85 – Doubles – 18; Home runs – 9; RBI – 18; BB – 22; K’s -50; .281/.339/.444 WAR 2.2
Those are close numbers and the numbers indicate that Player A is having a slightly better season. That player is Joe Panik.
We’ll come back to the Wong debate but, let’s talk about Matt Carpenter.
Carpenter is a fine player. No doubt. But, Todd Frazier was a worthy selection to start at third base, especially when playing the game at home. Let’s face it, Nolan Arenado is a superior player than Carpenter. Offensively and defensively. He is hitting .283/.314/.599 with 24 home runs and a league-leading 68 RBI. If you don’t want to accept that, you probably shouldn’t comment on anything about baseball – ever.
But you say, “he’s better than Kris Bryant.” Let’s get something straight. Carpenter is very valuable to the Cardinals and Bryant is very valuable to the Cubs. Each player is having similar seasons and it’s tough to tell who is better. But here are the stats.
Carpenter–8 HR, 39 RBI, .274 Avg., .374 OBP, .444 SLG
Bryant–12 HR, 49 RBI, .279 Avg., .383 OBP, .485 SLG
Bryant also has more stolen bases and during the time of the selections the same fielding percentage. He also has accomplished this with fewer games and plate appearances than Carpenter.
So here is the verdict. No, Carpenter did not get snubbed. Not in any way. He’s still a good player. He still means a lot to the Cardinals. He just isn’t an All-Star this season. It will be OK.
Back to the Wong argument. I believe he would have been a better selection than DJ LeMahieu, but with all that said. I think there are two bigger snubs than Wong.
Justin Turner is the first player that comes to mind when it comes to snubs. Since taking over the starting position for the Dodgers he’s been tremendous. .315/.386/.562, 11 home runs, 15 doubles, 38 RBI in far fewer at-bats than Wong. Remember, Player B from above? Yeah, these numbers are better.
Another player is Joey Votto, this would have been another nice hometown selection for a guy hitting .276/.387/.476, 14 home runs, 39 RBI and 53 walks for the struggling Reds. I would rather have his bat off the bench than Wong.
To me, Wong and Carpenter are not snubs. The Cardinals are well represented with 5 All-Star selections (most in the NL) and the possibility of adding a 6th in Carlos Martinez. Just because these players are not All-Stars this season doesn’t mean they aren’t good players and they aren’t valuable. The Cardinals have been winning this season with everyone contributing and without top offensive players. It’s impressive. Carpenter has been an All-Star in the past and will compete for a spot in the future. Wong’s future seems bright and will have many opportunities for an appearance. This just wasn’t his year.
However, if you’re a Cardinal fan you shouldn’t feel slighted by the lack of Wong and Carpenter, you should be praising the selections of Peralta, Holliday, Molina, Wacha and Rosenthal. You should also be voting for Carlos Martinez.