2013 All-Star Roster: Reserves Who Deserve to Be Starting Midsummer Classic

Benjamin Klein@BenjaminJKleinContributor IIIJuly 9, 2013

May 26, 2013; Boston, MA, USA;  Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia (15) makes a throw to first base during the sixth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

One of the many problems with the Major League Baseball All-Star Game is that the league lets the fans determine the starting lineups. As you could imagine, the public didn’t do a perfect job of selecting this year’s starters.

While some picks were obvious—Chris Davis, Miguel Cabrera and David Wright, among others—there were some positional races that went down to the wire. Throughout the voting process, many stars flip-flopped as the leaders of their respective positions. But in the end, not everyone who should start will start.

Here are three All-Stars who will be in New York on July 16, but will be sitting on the bench to begin the Midsummer Classic instead of on the field. While they likely will all get to play at some point throughout the exhibition, they deserve to be starters instead of reserves. 


Complete American League Roster (via MLB.com)

Player Position Team
Joe Mauer Catcher MIN
Chris Davis First Baseman BAL
Robinson Cano Second Baseman NYY
J.J. Hardy Shortstop BAL
Miguel Cabrera Third Baseman DET
Mike Trout Outfielder LAA
Adam Jones Outfielder BAL
Jose Bautista Outfielder TOR
David Ortiz Designated Hitter BOS
Clay Buchholz* Pitcher BOS
Brett Cecil Pitcher TOR
Bartolo Colon@ Pitcher OAK
Jesse Crain* Pitcher CHW
Yu Darvish Pitcher TEX
Felix Hernandez Pitcher SEA
Hisashi Iwakuma Pitcher SEA
Justin Masterson Pitcher CLE
Joe Nathan Pitcher TEX
Glen Perkins@ Pitcher MIN
Mariano Rivera Pitcher NYY
Chris Sale Pitcher CHW
Max Scherzer Pitcher DET
Justin Verlander Pitcher DET
Jason Castro Catcher HOU
Salvador Perez Catcher KC
Prince Fielder First Baseman DET
Jason Kipnis Second Baseman CLE
Dustin Pedroia Second Baseman BOS
Ben Zobrist Second Baseman TB
Jhonny Peralta Shortstop DET
Manny Machado Third Baseman BAL
Nelson Cruz Outfielder TEX
Alex Gordon Outfielder KC
Torii Hunter Outfielder DET
Edwin Encarnacion Designated Hitter TOR
* Injured; @ Injury replacement


Complete National League Roster (via MLB.com)

Player Position Team
Yadier Molina Catcher STL
Joey Votto First Baseman CIN
Brandon Phillips Second Baseman CIN
Troy Tulowitzki Shortstop COL
David Wright Third Baseman NYM
Carlos Beltran Outfielder STL
Carlos Gonzalez Outfielder COL
Bryce Harper Outfielder WAS
Madison Bumgarner Pitcher SF
Aroldis Chapman Pitcher CIN
Patrick Corbin Pitcher ARZ
Jose Fernandez Pitcher MIA
Jason Grilli Pitcher PIT
Matt Harvey Pitcher NYM
Clayton Kershaw Pitcher LAD
Craig Kimbrel Pitcher ATL
Cliff Lee Pitcher PHI
Jeff Locke Pitcher PIT
Adam Wainwright Pitcher STL
Travis Wood Pitcher CHC
Jordan Zimmermann Pitcher WAS
Buster Posey Catcher SF
Paul Goldschmidt First Baseman ARZ
Allen Craig First Baseman STL
Matt Carpenter Second Baseman STL
Marco Scutaro Second Baseman SF
Everth Cabrera Shortstop SD
Jean Segura Shortstop MIL
Pedro Alvarez Third Baseman PIT
Domonic Brown Outfielder PHI
Michael Cuddyer Outfielder COL
Carlos Gomez Outfielder MIL
Andrew McCutchen Outfielder PIT


Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals

Matt Carpenter had a strong campaign last season, his first full season with the St. Louis Cardinals. In 114 games in 2012, Carpenter hit .294/.365/.463 with six home runs, 46 RBI and 44 runs. This year, he’s been much better, and he’s only played in 83 games. In 2013, he’s hitting .316/.390/.487 with eight homers and 37 RBI.

Carpenter has quickly become one of the best second basemen in the National League. But whether he’s definitely the best doesn’t matter here. All that matters is he’s had a better first half of the season than any of his opponents at second. There’s no question that he has.

Carpenter currently leads all other second basemen in the Senior Circuit in WAR by a large margin, per FanGraphs. Brandon Phillips, who will be the NL’s starter at second, is in second place on that list, but is still far away from the Cardinals second baseman. St. Louis got two players in the starting lineup, but needed three.


Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox

Dustin Pedroia’s production on offense and defense has been a big reason why the Boston Red Sox have been so successful in 2013. Pedroia has helped the Red Sox go from a last-place team to a first-place team in just a matter of months. Pedroia has absolutely been the organization’s first-half Most Valuable Player.

Through 89 games, Pedroia is hitting .321/.401/.439 with five home runs, 50 RBI, 54 runs and 13 stolen bases. In terms of WAR, he’s been the Junior Circuit’s top second baseman, according to FanGraphs. The top three second basemen in WAR made the AL roster, but Pedroia isn’t the one starting—Robinson Cano is.

There’s a bit of a dilemma here considering Cano plays for the Yankees and the game is being played in New York—at Citi Field. Yankees fans gave it everything they had to get Cano to start, and they got their wish. But Cano has been the third-best so far. Pedroia and Jason Kipnis have been better. But the hometown hero won this one.


Carlos Gomez, Milwaukee Brewers

Carlos Gomez has played better than any other outfielder in the NL through the first half of the 2013 season. If you take a look at the WAR leaders, Gomez is right at the top and by quite a lot too, per FanGraphs. You could argue his defense inflates his WAR, but his offensive production has still been stellar this season.

Through 82 games, the Milwaukee outfielder is hitting .312/.353/.559 with 13 home runs, 41 RBI, 49 runs and 20 stolen bases. The 27-year-old has literally done it all for the Brewers this season. Unfortunately for him, most of his team hasn’t played like he has, and the organization currently sits in last place in the NL Central.

So, do you think Gomez is going to be a starter at Citi Field? Nope, Carlos Beltran, Carlos Gonzalez and Bryce Harper are. Of those three, Beltran is arguably the least deserving—although I know many disagree with Harper as well. The point, however, is that Gomez should be starting, no matter whom he should replace.