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2014 MLB All-Star Roster: Highlighting Top Snubs After Voting Results Reveal

Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale, right, speaks with catcher Tyler Flowers on the mount after Baltimore Orioles' Delmon Young singled in the first inning of a baseball game, Monday, June 23, 2014, in Baltimore. Baltimore scored two runs in the first. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
Patrick Semansky/Associated Press
Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistJuly 7, 2014

It's officially summer. Every baseball fan is complaining about the All-Star Game.

Some would argue that discussion about the biggest snubs from the Midsummer Classic is a foolish pursuit. What's the big deal, right?

The problem is that the number of All-Star Games a player participates in are often used as one of the measuring sticks to determine his Hall of Fame candidacy. There's also the little matter of this game determining home-field advantage for the World Series.

If this game is truly supposed to matter, you want the best players taking part.

You can see the full rosters for each All-Star team below, courtesy of MLB.com.

American League All-Star Roster
PositionPlayerTeam
Starters
CSalvador PerezKansas City Royals
1BMiguel CabreraDetroit Tigers
2BRobinson CanoSeattle Mariners
SSDerek JeterNew York Yankees
3BJosh DonaldsonOakland Athletics
OFJose BautistaToronto Blue Jays
OFMike TroutLos Angeles Angels
OFAdam JonesBaltimore Orioles
DHNelson CruzBaltimore Orioles
Pitchers
PDellin BetancesNew York Yankees
PMark BuehrleToronto Blue Jays
PYu DarvishTexas Rangers
PSean DoolittleOakland Athletics
PFelix HernandezSeattle Mariners
PKevin HollandKansas City Royals
PScott KazmirOakland Athletics
PJon LesterBoston Red Sox
PGlen PerkinsMinnesota Twins
PDavid PriceTampa Bay Rays
PMax ScherzerDetroit Tigers
PMasahiro TanakaNew York Yankees
Reserves
CDerek NorrisOakland Athletics
CKurt SuzukiMinnesota Twins
CMatt WietersBaltimore Orioles
1BJose AbreuChicago White Sox
1BBrandon MossOakland Athletics
2BJose AltuveHouston Astros
3BAdrian BeltreTexas Rangers
SSAlexei RamirezChicago White Sox
OFMichael BrantleyCleveland Indians
OFYoenis CespedesOakland Athletics
OFAlex GordonKansas City Royals
DHEdwin EncarnacionToronto Blue Jays
DHVictor MartinezDetroit Tigers
MLB.com
National League All-Star Roster
PositionPlayerTeam
Starters
CYadier MolinaSt. Louis Cardinals
1BPaul GoldschmidtArizona Diamondbacks
2BChase UtleyPhiladelphia Phillies
SSTroy TulowitzkiColorado Rockies
3BAramis RamirezMilwaukee Brewers
OFAndrew McCutchenPittsburgh Pirates
OFCarlos GomezMilwaukee Brewers
OFYasiel PuigLos Angeles Dodgers
Pitchers
PMadison BumgarnerSan Francisco Giants
PAroldis ChapmanCincinnati Reds
PJohnny CuetoCincinnati Reds
PZack GreinkeLos Angeles Dodgers
PClayton KershawLos Angeles Dodgers
PCraig KimbrelAtlanta Braves
PPat NeshekSt. Louis Cardinals
PFrancisco RodriguezMilwaukee Brewers
PTyson RossSan Diego Padres
PJeff SamardzijaChicago Cubs (ineligible to play)
PJulio TeheranAtlanta Braves
PAdam WainwrightSt. Louis Cardinals
PTony WatsonPittsburgh Pirates
PJordan ZimmermannWashington Nationals
Reserves
CJonathan LucroyMilwaukee Brewers
CDevin MesoracoCincinnati Reds
1BFreddie FreemanAtlanta Braves
2BDee GordonLos Angeles Dodgers
2BDaniel MurphyNew York Mets
SSStarlin CastroChicago Cubs
3BMatt CarpenterSt. Louis Cardinals
3BTodd FrazierCincinnati Reds
OFCharlie BlackmonColorado Rockies
OFJosh HarrisonPittsburgh Pirates
OFHunter PenceSan Francisco Giants
OFGiancarlo StantonMiami Marlins
MLB.com

These four players are somehow absent.

 

Corey Kluber, Cleveland Indians

Tony Dejak/Associated Press

The Cleveland Indians starting rotation has been a complete mess this year. The one shining light is Corey Kluber.

Although he only boasts an 8-6 record, Kluber has a 2.99 ERA with 137 strikeouts, which is fourth in the American League. His FIP (fielding-independent pitching, scaled like ERA) of 2.65 illustrates exactly how great he's been this year and how bad his defense has been. According to Fangraphs, only Felix Hernandez has a lower FIP in the American League.

If you want to know just how little help Kluber is getting from his defense, opposing hitters are batting .332 against him, sixth-highest among qualified pitchers. His teammate, Justin Masterson, is fifth.

Despite what's been by far the best year of his career, Kluber will have to wait until somebody else drops out in order to make the trip to Minneapolis.

 

Chris Sale, Chicago White Sox

Andrew Nelles/Associated Press

The AL is loaded with quality starting pitchers, so Kluber's snub is somewhat excusable. What's the excuse for leaving off Chris Sale?

As Tyler Kepner of the New York Times pointed out, the Chicago White Sox ace might be the best pitcher in baseball, period. However, that's not good enough to earn inclusion to the All-Star Game:

In 13 starts this year, Sale has an 8-1 record, with an ERA of 2.16 and a FIP of 2.49. He also leads the AL in adjusted ERA+ at 188, according to Baseball-Reference.com.

Some might argue that Sale didn't earn an All-Star place since he missed part of the season. Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan astutely noted that that didn't stop Clayton Kershaw from making the National League roster:

Seriously, what's the deal here?

The fact that Kluber and Sale are both in the "Final Vote" is little consolation. They should be there already.

 

Brian Dozier, Minnesota Twins

Chris Carlson/Associated Press

Wins above replacement might be anathema for some baseball fans, but it's at least a solid representation of a player's production. Brian Dozier, despite hitting .235, has the third-highest WAR among all second basemen in the major leagues. He's also playing for the Minnesota Twins, which are hosting the All-Star Game.

Surely that's all good enough to get him named to the AL roster. Or not.

Dozier did find the silver lining in all of this, as per Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press in St. Paul:

If Dozier's not gonna be in the All-Star Game, then at least he can catch up with some of his family members. They'll truly appreciate how good he's been.

 

Anthony Rendon, Washington Nationals

Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post believes that Anthony Rendon and Matt Carpenter were in contention for the final reserve third baseman role for the National League, and Rendon lost out:

If that was the case, the Washington Nationals star should've earned the place ahead of Carpenter. The two have identical .282 batting averages, but Rendon has eight more home runs, 18 more RBI, a slugging percentage nearly 100 points higher and a 61-point edge in OPS.

According to Fangraphs, Rendon also owns a slight advantage in WAR, 3.2 versus Carpenter's 3.0. Even when you consider how much better Carpenter is defensively, he still hasn't had as good of a year as Rendon.

At least he's on the "Final Vote" ballot. Ian Desmond implored Nats fans everywhere to get out and vote for their player:

With Justin Morneau—possibly earning some votes from Minnesota Twins fans—and Anthony Rizzo also on the ballot, it will be hard for Rendon to make it to Target Field.

 

Note: All stats are courtesy of ESPN.com unless otherwise noted.

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