Projecting the 2008 American League All-Star Team
The 2008 MLB All Star Teams will be announced the afternoon of Sunday, July 6th. Listed below are my projections for the American League team.
I have completed a 32-man roster. Note that the starters are the same as those who were leading the last time the voting results were announced. Personally, I do not believe that Dustin Pedroia or Ichiro Suzuki should be starting over Ian Kinsler or Grady Sizemore.
I have also fulfilled the requirement that each team must be represented. Although, in this case, only two teams were not represented after I had selected reserves at each position and the first 8 pitchers -- Baltimore and Detroit.
C: Joe Mauer, Minnesota
1B: Kevin Youkilis, Boston
2B: Dustin Pedroia, Boston (would not have made my team otherwise)
SS: Derek Jeter, New York (as bad as SS is in the AL, he would have been my backup to Young)
3B: Alex Rodriguez, New York
OF: Manny Ramirez, Boston
OF: Josh Hamilton, Texas
OF: Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle (Could still have made the team if not elected, but only because the Mariners are awful and Felix Hernandez is on the DL.)
DH: David Ortiz, Boston *(injured and will not play)
C: A.J. Pierzynski, Chicago
1B: Justin Morneau, Minnesota
2B: Ian Kinsler, Texas
SS: Michael Young, Texas
3B: Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay
OF: Grady Sizemore, Cleveland
OF: Carlos Quentin, Chicago
OF: J.D. Drew, Boston
DH: Milton Bradley, Texas
2B: Brian Roberts, Baltimore (Serves as the representative for the Orioles. Also considered Sherrill and Markakis.)
3B: Carlos Guillen, Detroit (Serves as the representative for the Tigers. I would have taken Magglio if he was healthy, but Guillen's multi-position flexibility is nice.)
OF: Jermaine Dye, Chicago** (Replaces the injured Ortiz on the roster)
SP: Cliff Lee, Cleveland (My pick to start the game)
SP: Roy Halladay, Toronto
SP: Justin Duchscherer, Oakland
SP: Joe Saunders, Los Angeles
SP: Scott Kazmir, Tampa Bay
RP: Mariano Rivera, New York
RP: Joakim Soria, Kansas City (The Royals actually had a representative before I even considered the "team" rule!)
RP: Francisco Rodriguez, Los Angeles
SP: John Danks, Chicago
RP: Joe Nathan, Minnesota
RP: Jonathan Papelbon (Only the 5th best closer in the AL this year, but he is valuable to the BoSox, and I see Francona picking him.)
If you've been counting as we go, you'll notice that's only 31 players (not counting Dye replacing Ortiz for the injury.) The 32nd spot is determined by the online vote, so here would be my 5 candidates for that last spot:
32nd Man Vote
SP: Daisuke Matsuzaka, Boston
SP: Rich Harden, Oakland
SP: John Lackey, Los Angeles (I really wanted both him and Harden on the regular roster. Those two, as well as Scott Kazmir, have been dominant despite missing some time. Even if they would have been mediocre for that month, they would still compare well with guys like Santana and Mussina. I squeezed Kazmir onto the team, but I'll settle for putting Harden and Lackey here. I realize Lackey's been even better than Kazmir, but he's also made 3 fewer starts.)
SP: Ervin Santana, Los Angeles
SP: Mike Mussina, New York
I would probably vote for Lackey out of these candidates, however, I would expect Matsuzaka to win the fan vote.
Dioner Navarro, Jason Giambi, Miguel Cabrera, Mike Lowell, Joe Crede, B.J. Upton, Curtis Granderson (deserving last year and snubbed, but might have a shot as the obligatory Tigers' rep), Vladimir Guerrero, Nick Markakis, and a trio of injured guys: Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui, and Magglio Ordonez
As for the pitchers, apologies to...
Shaun Marcum (hurt), Felix Hernandez (hurt), Jon Lester, Gavin Floyd, Josh Beckett, Bobby Jenks, George Sherrill, B.J. Ryan, Scott Linebrink, Dan Wheeler
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