Chicago Baseball's All-Star Picks: Who Was Deserving? Who Was Snubbed?
By Chuck Sudo in News on Jul 2, 2012 7:00PM
Image via Fox Sports screen grab.
Major League Baseball announced the lineups for the National League and American League All-Star teams yesterday and with it comes the standard outcries of who was picked, who was robbed, why should there be a representative from every MLB team and why fan voting sucks.
Neither the Cubs nor the White Sox placed a starter on the teams, but are well-represented in the reserves. The Cubs will be sending Starlin Castro and Bryan LaHair while the White Sox will be represented by Paul Konerko, Adam Dunn and Chris Sale. Jake Peavy made the American League's "Final Vote" round.
The selection of LaHair indicates that players may be as suspect in their selections as the fans. LaHair is one of the few feel good stories of the year for a Cubs team en route to 100 losses, with a .284 batting average and 13 home runs. But are those All-Star numbers?
The White Sox representation is as much a nod to the team playing above what was expected of them this season as much as personal numbers. But there are a few possible snubs among Sox players. Peavy has been one of the more stalwart pitchers in the AL this season. He only has a 6-5 record in 2012, but he has four complete games—two of them losses— is sixth in the AL with a 2.96 ERA and sixth in strikeouts with 101.
The most obvious White Sox player who had the numbers to make the team was catcher AJ Pierzynski. He finished fourth in fan voting and is having one of the best offensive seasons of his career, with 14 home runs, 45 RBI and a .285 batting average. Bleacher Report's Joe Fromi noted that Pierzynski's offensive numbers are comparable to All-Star selections Mike Napoli, Joe Mauer and Matt Wieters, while Pierzynski has also caught more games than Napoli and Mauer. It can be argued that Pierzynski is in a contract year and that his reputation precedes him. Based on the numbers, though, he's deserving.
Another Sox player that could have made the team is Alex Rios, whose rebounded nicely after a horrendous 2012. Rios has a .308 batting average, 10 home runs and 42 RBI, is eighth in the AL in hits and has made the most out of batting behind Konerko and Dunn in the order. He's also played some solid defense moving to right field.
The 83rd annual All-Star Game will be played July 10 at Kaufmann Stadium in Kansas City, MO.