Rangers Snubbed For All Star Appearences

Nathan LawrenceContributor IJuly 5, 2009

OAKLAND, CA - MAY 07:  Ian Kinsler #5 of the Texas Rangers bats against the Oakland Athletics during a Major League Baseball game on May 7, 2009 at the Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

While the Texas Rangers were regaining the top spot in the American League West, Rays manager Joe Madden wasn't paying much attention. Ian Kinsler, Marlon Byrd, Nelson Cruz, Kevin Millwood, and Elvis Andrus are a big part of why the Rangers are in first place. None of the five players made the All-Star team in 2009.

Rays manager Joe Madden will be the manager of the American League All Stars and has left off some potential big names from the Rangers. Ian Kinsler has been crushing the ball all season and has been in a recent slump. The slump not only cost him an All Star start, but it might have cost him a spot on the team.

Kinsler's stats are pretty solid. He has a .256 average, 19 HR's, 51 RBI's, 57 runs scored, and is 16 for 18 when it comes to bases stolen. Those numbers, according to Madden, weren't good enough to put Kinsler in over Jason Bartlett or Ben Zobrist, who both play for Madden and the Rays.

While Elvis Andrus and Nelson Cruz have had terrific weeks and seasons, they won't be in St. Louis, MO to play for the All Stars and neither will Marlon Byrd, who has been a catalyst for the Rangers of late.

Cruz has a .270 average, 20 HR's, 49 RBI's, and is 13 for 14 when it comes to stolen bases in 2009.

Andrus is batting .266 with 3 HR's and 14 RBI's. He is 16 for 17 when it comes to stolen bases. Not to mention he has hit five triples and has 31 runs scored.

Byrd's line is even better, as he has a .288 average, 7 HR's, 40 RBI's, and a league leading 26 doubles. He has played stellar defense after replacing the injured Josh Hamilton, who the fans voted to start the game.

There are two Rangers pitchers that deserve All-Star game appearances as well, Kevin Millwood and Frank Francisco.

Millwood has a top-five ERA in the AL. His line is 8-5 with a 2.80 ERA, 119 innings pitched, 74 strikeouts, and two complete games. He is the ace of the Rangers staff and has better numbers than Josh Beckett, Tim Wakefield, and Mark Buehrle, all of which made the team.

Francisco has been hurt of late. He came back a little shaky, blowing his first two saves of the season. However, his year has been solid enough for an All-Star game appearance. He has a 2-1 record with a 2.19 ERA and 13 saves in 15 chances. He has allowed six earned runs in 24 and two-thirds innings pitched, while striking out 27 batters.

His numbers are better than AL All Stars Brian Fuentes and Andrew Bailey. Bailey is the only rookie to make it on either team.

Congratulations to the two Rangers who made the team, Josh Hamilton and Michael Young. They should had been joined by at least two more Rangers. Don't forget to vote for Ian Kinsler for the last chance vote to send a deserving All-Star second baseman to the All-Star game in St. Louis on July 14, 2009.