With the midway point of the season behind us, now seems like an acceptable time to start looking at which members of the Boston Red Sox will be playing at Citi Field for the ‘Midsummer Classic’ on July 16th. Here’s the shortlist of players who will either be a lock for the game, or on the bubble when the rosters are announced in a week.
Warning: this list is batters only, so don’t complain when you don’t see Buchholz or Uehara.
Lock: David Ortiz
Ortiz is the cream of the crop when it comes to DH’s in MLB history. Aside from the great Edgar Martinez, who was responsible for the biggest hitting circle known to man in the Ken Griffey Jr. Baseball game for N64, I don’t think a player has been more consistent in the DH position over such a long period of time than Ortiz. This eight time All-Star will be a lock to get his ninth selection and might even be in the MVP discussion if it wasn’t for some missed time to start the season. His .317 AVG is good for 7th in the American League, that’s pretty darn good for a ‘power’ hitter. He’s also 3rd in the AL in both SLG, and OPS, and dominates all other DH’s in nearly every category. This is a no-brainer for one of the few true designated hitters left in this era. Ortiz can book his flight, or bus ride, to New York.
On the bubble: Dustin Pedroia
In a perfect world, Dustin Pedroia would undoubtedly be the starting 2B for the American League All-Star team. I mean what possible argument could a human being make against him? Who in the world could possibly hold him back? Oh wait…there’s this guy named Robinson Cano. Pedroia is currently behind Cano in the voting which I think is absurd. I will admit that Cano is a better overall hitter then Pedroia is, but the 2013 All-Star game is supposed to be based on what you have done this season, not seasons past. As it stands today, Pedroia has outmatched Cano in AVG, OBP, hits, doubles, runs, and BB’s. Call me naive, or a homer, but is that not enough to surpass Cano in the voting? Defensively, they are both gold glove second basemen, but yet again, you can compare Pedroia’s one error in 369 total chances, to Cano’s two errors in 324 chances. It should say lock next to Pedroia’s name, but with the way the voting works for this thing, I’m forced to put the laser show on the bubble.
On the bubble: Daniel Nava
The most interesting possible Red Sox All-Star would have to be Daniel Nava. In a congested American League outfield, the 30-year-old switch hitting left fielder stands to have at least a shot at making the team. Right now, Mike Trout, Adam Jones, and Nick Markakis are the outright leading vote-getters so Nava would have to get a nice boost from Red Sox Nation to potentially pass one of them. I don’t think he deserves to pass Trout or Jones personally, but there’s a case to be made against Markakis. The Orioles outfielder has a line of .286/.334/.410, while Nava stands at .282/.373/.440. I think one of the reasons I am so high on Nava is best described by this stat, according to the Elias Sports Buraeu: Daniel Nava leads the majors with 24 RBI in the 7th inning or later. Essentially that stat is saying that Nava is one of the most impactful players for any team ,so why not give the guy the chance of a lifetime? If you want to see him play, then go write him in, I did.
When you go through the list of players in your head, there aren’t that many that realistically have a shot at making the team from the Sox’ this season. The reasoning is that Boston is made up of a lot of good players 1-9, and not many great ones. The direction in which owners and management have taken the team is one where big names are not as abundant as they’ve been in years past. I’ll take first place and no All-Stars any day of the week though.