Sunday, July 3, 2011

Off Base 2011 NL All Star Snubs

The 2011 All Star Game rosters are filled out which means it's time to huff and puff about who's in and who's out. I'm a natural complainer so I usually enjoy this exercise more than the actual game itself. You can peruse my picks here.

I'll begin with the jackassery that is the Final Vote. Hypothetically, this should be a chance for fans to pick one final player from the 5 most deserving left off the roster. In reality, it's a way for MLB to squeeze some more money out of Sprint.

Either way you choose to look at it, Andre Ethier, Todd Helton, Ian Kennedy, Michael Morse and Shane Victorino are your 2011 National League pool of Final Votees. Victorino should win running away since he has the 4th highest fWAR in the NL at 4.2 while playing a pretty center field. And it doesn't hurt that he's a bigger name on the better team than, oh say, Morse. I like Morse. I mentioned him in my All Star post and he might hit 30 home runs. But with just 20 some odd more plate appearances, Vitcorino is still the superior player.

Now for the rest of the victims of fan and managerial ignorance.

3 Position Players

Andrew McCutchen
He is, by far, the biggest snub of this year's snubs. He is 2nd in fWAR in the NL and 3rd overall in baseball! I realize not all fans or managers have 12-15 pages of Fangraphs open at once but his 12 home runs, 15 steals and .289/.390/.493 are plenty All Star worthy. Plus he plays the hell out of center field instead of just roaming around like a confused hobo a la Matt Kemp.

Chase Headley
Headley was my pick to start the ASG so getting left off the roster completely counts as a snub. Placido Polanco won the fan vote and Chipper Jones won the heart of manager Bruce Bochy. Headley's .399 OBP is 57 points higher than the next closest 3rd baseman (Jones). That is, scientifically, a crapload of more value. While I'm at it, Ryan Roberts was probably more worthy than either Polanco or Jones too.

Miguel Montero
This might be a little nitpicky but find me a stat, aside from batting average, that Yadier Molina is better. I guess Justin Upton used the lone Diamondback spot.

3 Pitchers

Madison Bumgarner
Ryan Vogelsong made the ASG so this is pick depends of which side of the stat nerd fence you stand on. In basically three more starts, Bumgarner has been the better pitcher (2.55-3.21 FIP) and projects to be the better pitcher (3.16-3.48 xFIP) and has been the better player (2.9-1.5 WAR). But Vogelsong owns the shiny 6-1 reocrd and 2.01 ERA.

Jordan Zimmermann
Zimmermann bests Daniel Hudson here because the Nationals rep is Tyler Clippard. If you only get one All Star, Zimmermann should be the choice over Clippard before Hudosn should be the choice over Justin Upton. Although Hudson does have a gripe with Ian Kennedy over that Final Vote spot. Zimmermann has been great and is 8th in the NL in fWAR over All Stars Vogelsong, Matt Cain and Jair Jurjjens.

Craig Kimbrel
Kimbrel has a better K/9 (14.36), FIP (1.42) and fWAR (1.9) than any other reliever in the NL. Don't like those stats? He's still tied for 1st in saves. Now explain why he isn't in the ASG.

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