I don't know how to put this delicately, but for an All-Star roster, the AL's bullpen looks pretty bad.
Chris Perez is a shaky head case who just blew a save in his last game before the break. Jim Johnson pitches to contact, which may get ugly against elite hitters who can crush his offerings. Ryan Cook is an unpolished rookie who walks an inordinate amount of batters. Fernando Rodney had a tremendous first half, but he is still Fernando Rodney, the guy with a career 1.40 WHIP.
Allowing the starting pitchers to hurl multiple innings in an exhibition game won't fly in this day and age, so somebody in this rag-tag group of relievers must step up for the AL to preserve a victory.
Joe Nathan, who actually can save games in the World Series for the Texas Rangers, deserves to pitch the ninth inning if the match is closely contested.
After missing all of 2010 recovering from Tommy John surgery, Nathan resembled a shell of himself last season, allowing a 4.83 ERA in 48 games. This year has presented the return of the dominant Nathan who consistently ranked as one of the sport's top closers.
Nathan has picked up 18 saves with a 1.73 ERA and 0.94 WHIP this season. In 36.1 innings, Nathan boasts a fantastic 45/4 strikeouts-to-walks ratio. Look for the 37-year-old to solidify his comeback at the All-Star Game.