7 Giants That Should Be Voted to the National League All-Star Team
The San Francisco Giants have always been sending guys to the All-Star Game, from Tim Lincecum to Pablo Sandoval to Ryan Vogelsong.
However, in 2012, there are even more Giants that deserve to make the team.
San Francisco has had a good year so far, and some guys have shined brightly in the first two months of the season. And this year, it's not just the pitching.
Hitters are stepping up as well, and the Giants are scoring more runs. As a result, they're well above .500 and sitting pretty in the NL West, thanks to some guys who deserve to be recognized as All-Stars.
Here are seven Giants who deserve to make the 2012 MLB All-Star Game.
Stats: 5-2, 2.98 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, .223 opponent BA, 66.1 IP, 39 SO
Zito always seems to struggle in the second half of the season, but he's continued to dominate the first half.
His ERA is under three, he has three more wins than losses and he is holding opponents to a very low batting average. Even though he doesn't throw very fast, his curveball has been on, and he has been overpowering hitters.
Zito is forcing a lot of ground balls, which is great for the Giants. He has given up some home runs, and he has had some bad starts, but he's hasn't allowed more than four runs in a start this year.
Compared to what he normally does, Zito has been amazing. Madison Bumgarner, Matt Cain, and Ryan Vogelsong are all doing well, but Barry Zito is doing what Tim Lincecum normally does (win). Without Zito, the team's record would be much worse.
While he may not make the team, Zito certainly deserves to. Thanks to him, the Giants are fine without Tim Lincecum at his best.
Stats: 6-4, 3.04 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, .239 opponent BA, 74 IP, 58 SO
Bumgarner isn't performing as well as he would like to be, but he has certainly done pretty well this year.
San Francisco's rapidly improving southpaw has put up solid numbers, as his ERA is just over three, and he has two more wins than losses. He goes deep into games and works out of jams very well.
What Bumgarner has improved most at is consistency. He is a very mature pitcher, but he no longer takes bad innings into the next inning, and he always has the potential to shut the other team out.
Bumgarner has never been to the All-Star game, although he has pitched well throughout his career. He is still fooling batters with his crazy delivery, and his slider and his curveball have been very effective.
While I'd expect an improvement from Bumgarner in the second half of the season, he still deserves to make the All-Star team.
Stats: 2-0, 0.60 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, .145 opponent BA, 15.2 IP, 21 SO
Romo has been amazing this year, and his numbers show it.
San Francisco's star reliever has given up just one run this year, and he has an ERA of 0.60 and a WHIP of 0.83. He has 21 strikeouts in 15.2 IP, or approximately 12.1 strikeouts per nine innings.
As always, Romo's slider has been very effective. The nasty break of the ball has consistently fooled hitters into swinging at pitches outside of the strike zone, which results in a miss or a weak grounder.
Romo's change-up also dips very effectively, and it usually results in a shallow pop-up or a swing and miss. Romo's ability to overpower right-handers and jam left-handers has been key for the Giants, as has his ability to get big outs.
Whenever Bruce Bochy needs a big out, Romo is always there. Righties have almost no chance at getting a hit off of him, and lefties have a small chance as well. He knows what to do in clutch situations, which makes him so good.
Of all of the guys on this list, Romo may have the most convincing case. He deserved to make the team last year, but he didn't. This year, that can't happen again.
Stats: 6 HR, 29 RBI, .295 BA, .362 OBP, 51 H, 19 BB
In 2010, Buster Posey would've made the All-Star team if he had started the season with the team. In 2011, he may have made the team if he hadn't been injured.
In 2012, he shouldn't miss the team.
Posey leads the Giants in homers and RBI, and he has a solid batting average and on-base percentage. He only has 51 hits, but he has 19 walks and 21 runs.
Posey is a fan favorite in San Francisco and across the league, so he should get some support there. His numbers should provide a boost, as he has been driving in runs and getting on base consistently.
While I expect Posey to make the team, if he doesn't, Giant fans won't take it well.
Stats: 6-2, 2.62 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, .206 opponent BA, 79 IP, 73 SO
Matt Cain has been great at pitching consistently throughout his career. This year, he finally has something to show for it.
Cain is 6-2 with a 2.62 ERA, and he has been San Francisco's most consistent pitcher throughout the season. Opponents have hit just .206 off of him, and he has thrown more innings than any other Giant pitcher.
Just like he's always been doing, Cain is forcing ground balls. His sinker has been very effective, as has his slider and fastball. He is hitting the corners very effectively, and he's been striking a lot of guys out.
This year, Cain is getting run support. He didn't get any in a great start against the Phillies in April (eventually a 1-0 win), but he has gotten some in most of his starts. In his best start of the year, a one-hitter in April, Cain got five runs of support.
Thanks to the run support, Cain's statistics look a lot better. He doesn't let many guys on base (as his 0.92 WHIP shows), and when he does, he stays calm and confident and works out of the jam. Unlike many young pitchers, he doesn't carry a bad inning into the next.
If Cain doesn't make the team, it will be a disgrace. He's certainly done enough to lift himself to the status of elite, and this year, he's continued to pitch like a star.
Stats: 4-2, 2.38 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, .228 opponent BA, 68 IP, 49 SO
While his record might not seem great, Vogelsong has been lights-out in 2012.
He isn't striking many guys out (6.79 SO's per nine innings), and he lets runners on base (1.22 WHIP), but he is pitching very well. He is amazing with runners on, and his ability to get key outs has helped the Giants immensely.
Vogelsong knows how to force a grounder or a fly ball, and he does a great job at forcing double-plays. He usually gives up a couple runs, but his ability to pitch well consistently and stay calm no matter what has been crucial for the Giants.
Vogelsong made the 2011 All-Star team, which was because of his win-loss record and consistent pitching. While his win-loss record isn't great, his ERA is (6th in the majors). His stats and great pitching should be enough to get him the coveted All-Star selection.
But if he doesn't, voters should be ashamed.
Stats: 4 HR, 27 RBI, .364 BA, .406 OBP, 82 H, 17 BB
There's no getting around it; Melky Cabrera has been amazing this year.
His .364 batting average leads the National League (as of June 4), and his 82 hits leads the majors. He has an incredible .406 on-base percentage, and while he hasn't knocked in many runs or hit many homers, he has been huge for the Giants.
Whenever he leads off the inning, he always seems to get on and create a scoring threat. If he hits with a runner on, he is a huge threat to knock the runner in with a hit to any field. If he has an opportunity to win the game, he will convert.
On defense, Cabrera is also great. He can lay out for a ball, throw a guy out at the plate and prevent hitters from extra-base hits (by hustling to the ball and throwing it in quickly to hold a runner at a certain base).
Overall, Melky is a great player, and he's certainly played like one. He almost won NL Player of the Month, and many people think he should've. But if he doesn't get voted to the All-Star team, there will be a lot of complaints.