When voting for the final roster spots on the National League and American League All-Star teams ends July 5 at 4:00 p.m. ET, Los Angeles Angles of Anaheim relief pitcher Ernesto Frieri and St. Louis Cardinals third baseman David Freese will be heading to Kansas City.
Middle relief pitchers are generally not well-known players. In 2012, though, MLB fans need to learn about Ernesto Frieri. Frieri has been arguably the most dominant pitcher in the majors since the Angels acquired him from the San Diego Padres on May 3.
In 24.1 innings pitched this season for the Angels, Frieri has not allowed a single run. Frieri also has 10 saves and 15.5 strikeouts per nine innings for the Angels. One could argue 24.1 innings is a small sample size, but one cannot argue an ERA of 0.00.
Frieri has struck out 42-of-96 batters faced while pitching for the Angels. That calculates to a 43.75 percent strikeout percentage. On top of that, Frieri has a 0.904 WHIP with the Angels.
Frieri made his major league debut in 2009 for the Padres. Since then, Frieri has been an effective middle relief pitcher. In 132.2 innings pitched, Frieri has a 1.90 ERA, a 1.176 WHIP and 12.1 strikeouts per nine innings.
Between now and 4:00 p.m. on July 5, MLB fans need to vote for Frieri. Frieri needs to make up a lot of ground in the AL final vote, but enough people will vote him in by the deadline.
Speaking of coming down to the wire, David Freese became a household name in the 2011 postseason. Freese won the 2011 NLCS MVP Award and the 2011 World Series MVP Award for the Cardinals.
Freese’s October success has carried over to the 2012 season. So far, Freese is batting .285 with 13 home runs and 50 RBI. Freese also has 36 runs scored and an .809 OPS.
Freese is leading the NL final vote. Cardinals fans and MLB fans who remember his rise to fame in the World Series have done their part to get Freese into the game thus far.
Frieri made his debut with the Padres, and San Diego drafted Freese. Therefore, the Padres will have two guys they brought into the league playing in Kansas City on July 10.
To access the 2012 All-Star Game Final Vote, please click here.