Who Should Be the All-Star Representative for the Cleveland Indians?
At this point of the season, we can safely say that the 24-36 Indians are not going to have a myriad of talent making the American League All-Star team. Luckily for them though, MLB rules require that at least one representative from each team be part of the roster.
In the case of some teams, the choice is easy. The Pirates will have Andrew McCutchen, and the Royals will have Jose Guillen. For the Indians and others, however, the choice is more difficult. There are a handful of different players that could be All-Stars, though, based on how they're playing.
There are some borderline cases who, if they have a great June, could make a case for themselves, such as Jake Westbrook and Fausto Carmona. Asdrubal Cabrera would be a decent choice, but his injury takes him out of the discussion, although given how most of the team has played his stats aren't that bad.
In reality though, there are two to four possibilities right now. First, we have Shin-Soo Choo. He could have made the team last year rather than Victor Martinez, and now that Martinez is with Boston, the path is clear for Choo, the Indians' top player this year. He's hitting nearly .300 with 8 home runs and 29 RBI, and leads the team with 10 stolen bases and 37 walks.
Choo's fielding isn't very good, but his hitting stats easily give him the nod. While Choo would be my pick, there are a couple other players who one could make an argument for.
One of them is the man who came out of nowhere, Austin Kearns.
He has revived his career in Cleveland, hitting .307 with 7 home runs and a team-leading 31 RBI. Granted, it tells you something about the Tribe when 31 RBI is team-leading.
One thing that would greatly help Cleveland if Kearns makes the All-Star team, is that his trade value will jump, and Cleveland could potentially get some good pieces for him.
After all, while Choo is ideally going to be a future piece of the club for years, Kearns won't be in a Cleveland uniform in 2011. With a trade, at least his stay would be worth it for both sides.
Let's say that the hitting side fills up with talent and Cleveland has to send a pitcher to the game though. I doubt they will, since none of the pitchers have been great, but there are two possibilities.
First is Mitch Talbot, yet another Indian who has come out of nowhere with seven wins. His ERA isn't great, but 3.59's not bad either.
Talbot's stats aren't that impressive, but Fausto Carmona's sub-.500 record would keep him out of consideration, and there are better relievers than Chris Perez, though he's been pitching well.
Perez would be a decent option at number four, seeing as how his 2.59 ERA leads the team and his ERA+ and WHIP lead as well.
Who would you give the All-Star nod to? Is Choo the easy choice or is Kearns going in a smart move? Will Chris Perez somehow squeeze into the mix?
Or should we just put Frank Herrmann in the All-Star game for fun?
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