2013 MLB All-Star Roster: Breaking Down the NL and AL Selections

Joel ReuterFeatured ColumnistJuly 6, 2013

2013 MLB All-Star Roster: Breaking Down the NL and AL Selections

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    The 2013 MLB All-Star Game rosters have been announced, with the game set to be played on July 16 at Citi Field in New York.

    There will no doubt be some tinkering with the rosters in the days ahead, as starting pitchers may need to be replaced depending on when their final first-half start will be and injuries could force players out of action in the Midsummer Classic.

    As it stands, there will be at least one more player joining each roster, with the finalists for the Final Vote roster spot announced.

    In the American League, relievers Joaquin Benoit (DET), Steve Delabar (TOR), David Robertson (NYY), Tanner Scheppers (TEX) and Koji Uehara (BOS) are vying for the final spot. 

    In the National League, it will be a position player with Ian Desmond (WAS), Freddie Freeman (ATL), Adrian Gonzalez (LAD), Hunter Pence (SF) and rookie phenom Yasiel Puig (LAD) on the ballot for the final spot.

    For the time being however, the 2013 MLB All-Star Game rosters stand as follows.

AL Catchers

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    2013 MLB All-Stars

    Starter: Joe Mauer (MIN)

    Reserves: Jason Castro (HOU), Salvador Perez (KC)

     

    Overview

    Joe Mauer was a shoo-in to start, as he ran away with the voting at the catcher position in the midst of another terrific season, as he'll make his fourth career All-Star start.

    After him, Jason Castro earns the nod as the Astros' lone representative. The 26-year-old former first-round pick is finally turning potential into production this year, in what is his first full season in the majors.

    Salvador Perez earns a spot as well, and he's having a nice season with a .302/.326/.420 line along with some solid defense behind the plate. 

     

    Notable Snubs: Carlos Santana (CLE)

AL 1st Basemen

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    2013 MLB All-Stars

    Starter: Chris Davis (BAL)

    Reserves: Edwin Encarnacion (TOR), Prince Fielder (DET)

     

    Overview

    With 33 home runs, 85 RBI and a 1.120 OPS, Chris Davis has been an absolute monster in the first half this season, and he was clearly the deserving choice as the starting first baseman.

    After being snubbed last year, Edwin Encarnacion earns a spot with an .877 OPS and 23 home runs hitting in the middle of the Blue Jays lineup, as he's proven his breakout performance last year was no fluke.

    Tigers slugger Prince Fielder makes his fifth All-Star appearance, and along with an .822 OPS and 65 RBI, he has also done a fantastic job protecting the best hitter on the planet in Miguel Cabrera.

     

    Notable Snubs: None

AL 2nd Basemen

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    2013 MLB All-Stars

    Starter: Robinson Cano (NYY)

    Reserves: Jason Kipnis (CLE), Dustin Pedroia (BOS), Ben Zobrist (TB)

     

    Overview

    Making his fourth straight start for the American League, Robinson Cano is having another great season in the middle of the Yankees lineup, with a .900 OPS and 20 home runs.

    Jason Kipnis boosted his stock with a .419/.517/.699 line in the month of June, as he is enjoying a breakout season but will have to avoid a second-half letdown like the one he suffered last year.

    Dustin Pedroia has led a resurgent Red Sox team, as he's hitting .323/.404/.445 with 49 RBI on the season, and he'd likely garner some MVP consideration behind Chris Davis and Miguel Cabrera if the season ended today.

    One of the bigger head-scratchers on the rosters was Ben Zobrist, who is the Rays' lone representative and is hitting .260/.348/.376 with 44 RBI. However, from a roster-building standpoint, he provides Jim Leyland with more versatility than anyone on the roster.

     

    Notable Snubs: Howie Kendrick (LAA)

AL 3rd Basemen

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    2013 MLB All-Stars

    Starter: Miguel Cabrera (DET)

    Reserves: Manny Machado (BAL)

     

    Overview

    Viewed by most as the deepest position in either league this season, it was shocking to see only two third basemen selected to the AL roster.

    What wasn't shocking was seeing Miguel Cabrera earn the starting nod, as he's in a good position to make another run at the Triple Crown with a .361 BA, 26 HR, 86 RBI line under his belt.

    There's no denying that 21-year-old Manny Machado deserves a spot as well, as he's posted an .820 OPS with an MLB-high 39 doubles.

    However, the omissions of Evan Longoria (.908 OPS, 17 HR, 49 RBI) and Josh Donaldson (.918 OPS, 15 HR, 57 RBI) are among the most glaring on either side.

     

    Notable Snubs: Adrian Beltre (TEX), Josh Donaldson (OAK), Evan Longoria (TB)

AL Shortstops

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    2013 MLB All-Stars

    Starter: J.J. Hardy (BAL)

    Reserves: Jhonny Peralta (DET)

     

    Overview

    Perhaps the weakest position in either league with Derek Jeter on the shelf and Jose Reyes missing the majority of the season, J.J. Hardy was the deserving starter here with good power and terrific defense as he makes his second All-Star appearance and first start.

    Tigers manager Jim Leyland wasn't shy about picking his own guys to fill out the roster, but Jhonny Peralta was deserving of his spot, as he's hit .306 with an .815 OPS and was the clear choice as a second shortstop

     

    Notable Snubs: Jed Lowrie (OAK)

AL Outfielders

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    2013 MLB All-Stars

    Starters: Adam Jones (BAL), Mike Trout (LAA), Jose Bautista (TOR)

    Reserves: Nelson Cruz (TEX), Alex Gordon (KC), Torii Hunter (DET)

     

    Overview

    Among the closest votes of any position, Jose Bautista edged out Nick Markakis for the third starting outfield spot alongside deserving starters Adam Jones and Mike Trout.

    The reserve outfield pool was actually fairly thin, with Nelson Cruz (.847 OPS, 21 HR) ranking as the only clear-cut choice to be named to the AL bench.

    Torii Hunter makes the team thanks to a .303 batting average, but he hasn't provided much else with a relatively weak .757 OPS, while Alex Gordon makes the team for the first time despite the fact that he was perhaps more deserving in past seasons.


    Notable Snubs: Jacoby Ellsbury (BOS), Daniel Nava (BOS), Nick Markakis (BAL)

AL Designated Hitters

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    2013 MLB All-Star

    Starter: David Ortiz (BOS)

    Reserves: None

     

    Overview

    This was maybe the easiest choice of any spot in either league, as Ortiz has been in a class of his own this season as far as AL designated hitters have gone.

    The 37-year-old missed time early, but he has hit .321/.409/.615 with 17 home runs and 61 RBI in 68 games for Boston this season as he makes his ninth All-Star appearance.

     

    Notable Snubs: None

AL Starting Pitchers

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    2013 MLB All-Stars

    Clay Buchholz (BOS), Bartolo Colon (OAK), Yu Darvish (TEX), Felix Hernandez (SEA), Hisashi Iwakuma (SEA), Justin Masterson (CLE), Chris Sale (CWS), Max Scherzer (DET), Justin Verlander (DET)

     

    Overview

    The front-runners to start for the American League appear to be Max Scherzer (13-0, 3.09 ERA) and Yu Darvish (8-3, 2.78 ERA), with Scherzer the likely candidate given the fact that Leyland is his coach.

    Clay Buchholz is named to the roster despite the fact that he won't pitch, and he may have had a chance to start had it not been for him being hurt.

    The biggest head-scratcher here is the selection of Justin Verlander to the roster, as he's not been his usual dominant self this season with a 9-5 record and 3.54 ERA, and Yankees right-hander Hiroki Kuroda may have been the biggest snub among starters.

     

    Notable Snubs: Derek Holland (TEX), Hiroki Kuroda (NYY), Anibal Sanchez (DET), Ervin Santana (KC), James Shields (KC)

AL Relief Pitchers

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    2013 MLB All-Stars

    Brett Cecil (TOR), Jesse Crain (CWS), Joe Nathan (TEX), Glen Perkins (MIN), Mariano Rivera (NYY)

     

    Overview

    The American League bullpen will be anchored by two of the best closers of all time in Joe Nathan (28-of-29 SV, 1.43 ERA) and, of course, Yankees legend Mariano Rivera (29-of-30, 1.39 ERA) who is in the final season of his Hall of Fame career.

    Joining them is Twins closer Glen Perkins (20-of-22, 1.93 ERA), who is thriving in his first full season in the ninth-inning role and could be among the most sought-after trade pieces of the deadline if he's made available.

    Setup men Jesse Crain (39 G, 0.74 ERA) and Brett Cecil (38 G, 1.43 ERA) are certainly both deserving of their spots on the team, though Crain won't pitch as he's currently on the DL.

    A's closer Grant Balfour (22-of-22 SV, 1.82 ERA) is one of the bigger snubs, and seeing as the Twins already had a representative in Joe Mauer, he deserved a spot over Perkins.

     

    Notable Snubs: Grant Balfour (OAK), Casey Janssen (TOR)

Team-by-Team Roster Breakdown and Projected Starting Lineup

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    Team-by-Team Breakdown (starters in bold)

    Baltimore (4): 1B Chris Davis, SS J.J. Hardy, CF Adam Jones, 3B Manny Machado

    Boston (3): DH David Ortiz, 2B Dustin Pedroia, SP Clay Buchholz+

    Chicago (2): SP Chris Sale, RP Jesse Crain+

    Cleveland (2): 2B Jason Kipnis, SP Justin Masterson

    Detroit (6): 3B Miguel Cabrera, 1B Prince Fielder, SS Jhonny Peralta, RF Torii Hunter, SP Max Scherzer, SP Justin Verlander

    Houston (1): C Jason Castro

    Kansas City (2): C Salvador Perez, LF Alex Gordon

    Los Angeles (1): CF Mike Trout

    Minnesota (2): C Joe Mauer, RP Glen Perkins

    New York (2): 2B Robinson Cano, RP Mariano Rivera

    Oakland (1): SP Bartolo Colon

    Seattle (2): SP Felix Hernandez, SP Hisashi Iwakuma

    Tampa Bay (1): 2B Ben Zobrist

    Texas (3): RF Nelson Cruz, SP Yu Darvish, RP Joe Nathan

    Toronto (3): RF Jose Bautista, 1B Edwin Encarnacion, RP Brett Cecil

    +Injured, Will Not Play

NL Catchers

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    2013 MLB All-Stars

    Starter: Yadier Molina (STL)

    Reserves: Buster Posey (SF)

     

    Overview

    It was clear that Yadier Molina and Buster Posey would both make the NL rosters, but who earned the start came down to the wire, with Molina eventually winning out for his third career start.

    Posey could be an option to be the starting DH for the NL team, as the reigning NL MVP is having a terrific season once again and leading the Giants offensively.

    Russell Martin has been a valuable piece for the surging Pittsburgh Pirates, but there were really no other viable All-Star candidates at catcher in the NL.

     

    Notable Snubs: None

NL 1st Basemen

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    2013 MLB All-Stars

    Starter: Joey Votto (CIN)

    Reserves: Allen Craig (STL), Paul Goldschmidt (ARI)

     

    Overview

    While an argument can be made that Paul Goldschmidt is more deserving, it's hard to make a case against Joey Votto, who currently leads the NL with a .433 on-base percentage and ranks fourth with 105 hits.

    Goldschmidt is my pick to DH for the NL, as he may be your NL MVP through the first half of the season, posting a .934 OPS to go along with 20 home runs and 71 RBI for the NL West-leading Diamondbacks.

    Beyond those two, a strong case can be made for Allen Craig (.860 OPS, 68 RBI), Freddie Freeman (.853 OPS, 56 RBI) and Adrian Gonzalez (.845 OPS, 53 RBI), though the latter two will have to rely on the Final Vote to earn a spot.

     

    Notable Snubs: Freddie Freeman (ATL), Adrian Gonzalez (LAD)

NL 2nd Basemen

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    2013 MLB All-Stars

    Starter: Brandon Phillips (CIN)

    Reserves: Matt Carpenter (STL), Marco Scutaro (SF)

     

    Overview

    It's hard to believe that Brandon Phillips has never started an All-Star Game, but he'll be doing just that this season, as he's posted a .738 OPS and 64 RBI in the middle of the Reds lineup.

    All due respect to Phillips, Matt Carpenter has been the best second baseman in the National League this season. With a .391 on-base percentage and 65 runs scored atop the Cardinals lineup, he's been a fantastic table setter.

    It's no surprise to see manager Bruce Bochy take last season's playoff hero Marco Scutaro, as he's been solid once again with a .313 batting average and played a huge part in the team's postseason run last year.

     

    Notable Snubs: None

NL 3rd Basemen

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    2013 MLB All-Stars

    Starter: David Wright (NYM)

    Reserves: Pedro Alvarez (PIT)

     

    Overview

    Playing in front of the home fans, and with a .920 OPS on the season, David Wright was the clear to choice to start at third base for the National League. He'll be making his fifth start and seventh All-Star appearance overall.

    Earning the backup nod, Pedro Alvarez has finally developed some consistency at the plate this season, and though he's hitting just .243, he has an .820 OPS and 22 home runs on the season.

     

    Notable Snubs: Ryan Zimmerman (WAS)

NL Shortstops

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    2013 MLB All-Stars

    Starter: Troy Tulowitzki (COL)

    Reserves: Everth Cabrera (SD), Jean Segura (MIL)

     

    Overview

    On the mend from a broken rib, there is still a chance that Troy Tulowitzki may be back in time to start at shortstop for the National League, and even with the time he's missed, he still has a 1.048 OPS, 16 home runs and 51 RBI.

    If Tulowitzki is unable to play, Brewers breakout star Jean Segura will likely be his replacement in the starting lineup, as he has an NL-high 109 hits with 11 home runs and 26 steals.

    Everth Cabrera is the Padres' lone representative, as he's hitting .295 on the season with an NL-high 31 stolen bases. Ian Desmond has a chance to make the roster on the Final Vote, and he's one of the bigger snubs with an .832 OPS and 15 home runs.

     

    Notable Snubs: Ian Desmond (WAS)

NL Outfielders

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    2013 MLB All-Stars

    Starters: Carlos Beltran (STL), Carlos Gonzalez (COL), Bryce Harper (WAS)

    Reserves: Domonic Brown (PHI), Michael Cuddyer (COL), Carlos Gomez (MIL), Andrew McCutchen (PIT)

     

    Overview

    Carlos Gonzalez and Bryce Harper were able to make a late push to overtake Justin Upton for starting spots in the NL outfield, and rightfully so as they were both more deserving than the Braves left fielder.

    Dominic Brown (.873 OPS, 22 HR) and Carlos Gomez (.929 OPS, 13 HR, 18 SB) are among the first-time honorees, and they have been among the biggest surprise breakout stars so far this season.

    Andrew McCutchen earns a spot as the offensive leader of the Pirates, and Michael Cuddyer used a 27-game hitting streak to boost his stock and earn his second All-Star appearance.

     

    Notable Snubs: Jay Bruce (CIN), Shin-Soo Choo (CIN), Starling Marte (PIT), Yasiel Puig (LAD)

NL Starting Pitchers

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    2013 MLB All-Stars

    Madison Bumgarner (SF), Patrick Corbin (ARI), Jose Fernandez (MIA), Matt Harvey (NYM), Clayton Kershaw (LAD), Cliff Lee (PHI), Jeff Locke (PIT), Adam Wainwright (STL), Travis Wood (CHC), Jordan Zimmermann (WAS)

     

    Overview

    Adam Wainwright is set to start the Cardinals' final game before the All-Star break, he won't be pitching in the All-Star Game, per Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. That likely cements Matt Harvey as the starter for the NL squad.

    The rest of the NL staff is loaded though, and even guys like Jose Fernandez and Travis Wood, who earned spots as their teams' only representatives, were deserving of the honor.

    There are really no major surprises here, as manager Bruce Bochy did a nice job filling out his pitching staff, and some of the below-mentioned snubs may still wind up on the roster depending on who all is unavailable that was named to the roster.

     

    Notable Snubs: Shelby Miller (STL), Mike Leake (CIN), Hyun-Jin Ryu (LAD), Stephen Strasburg (WAS)

NL Relief Pitchers

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    2013 MLB All-Stars

    Aroldis Chapman (CIN), Jason Grilli (PIT), Craig Kimbrel (ATL)

     

    Overview

    The National League opted to go with a bare-bones bullpen as far as relievers are concerned, but they are arguably the three most dominant closers in the game right now.

    Jason Grilli (28-of-29 SV, 2.15 ERA), Craig Kimbrel (23-of-26 SV, 1.72 ERA) and Aroldis Chapman (20-of-23 SV, 2.57 ERA) have all been great, and if they each throw an inning, it could be a rough end of the game for the American League hitters.

    That said, Edward Mujica (22-of-23 SV, 2.48 ERA) deserved to be named to the team, as his emergence in the closer role for St. Louis has been a big reason why that team has been so successful this season.

     

    Notable Snubs: Rex Brothers (COL), Mark Melancon (PIT), Edward Mujica (STL)

Team-by-Team Roster Breakdown

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    Team-By-Team Breakdown (starters in bold)

    Arizona (2): 1B Paul Goldschmidt, SP Patrick Corbin

    Atlanta (1): RP Craig Kimbrel

    Chicago (1): SP Travis Wood

    Cincinnati (3): 1B Joey Votto, 2B Brandon Phillips, RP Aroldis Chapman

    Colorado (3): SS Troy Tulowitzki, LF Carlos Gonzalez, RF Michael Cuddyer

    Los Angeles (1): SP Clayton Kershaw

    Miami (1): SP Jose Fernandez

    Milwaukee (2): SS Jean Segura, CF Carlos Gomez

    New York (2): 3B David Wright, SP Matt Harvey

    Philadelphia (2): OF Domonic Brown, SP Cliff Lee

    Pittsburgh (4): 3B Pedro Alvarez, CF Andrew McCutchen, SP Jeff Locke, RP Jason Grilli

    San Diego (1): SS Everth Cabrera

    San Francisco (3): C Buster Posey, 2B Marco Scutaro, SP Madison Bumgarner

    St. Louis (5): C Yadier Molina, RF Carlos Beltran, 1B Allen Craig, 2B Matt Carpenter, SP Adam Wainwright

    Washington (2): RF Bryce Harper, SP Jordan Zimmermann