And lastly, we have the NL Pitching Staff. Like the AL, there is a strong group of starters this season, and most of them made the team.
Therefore, I’m keeping Matt Cain, Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, Jair Jurrjens, Clayton Kershaw, Cliff Lee and Tim Lincecum. Also, like with the AL roster, I’m cutting relievers down to the bare essentials, which, in this case, would be Joel Hanrahan, Jonny Venters and Brian Wilson (with fellow real life All-Star Heath Bell as their first replacement).
Ryan Vogelsong has had a good first half, but like with Josh Hamilton, it’s a tough field, and he’s lacking the playing time to measure up. His 77.2 IP place him 65th in the NL. I would rather go with equally strong candidates who have the extra games played.
In this case, I’m going with a trio of young starters for the last three starts.
Jordan Zimermann has a 2.63 ERA, a 1.07 WHIP, 71:20 K:BB ratio and a 145 ERA+. Ian Kennedy becomes the fourth Arizona player on my roster, with his 3.01 ERA, 132 ERA+, 97:30 K:BB ratio, and a 1.09 WHIP.
And, in a close one, Tommy Hanson nudges out first alternate Anibal Sanchez (3.30 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 111:33 K:BB ratio), on strength of a 2.62 ERA, 146 ERA+, 1.06 WHIP, and 97:33 K:BB ratio.
Hanson has fewer innings than many other starters, with only 89.1, but I feel like I can defend him over Ryan Vogelsong because Hanson still has nearly two more starts worth of innings on him.
Furthermore, Hanson has stronger peripheral stats, and is even scheduled to pitch again before Vogelsong, meaning he’ll only build up a bigger cushion (in theory).
So, there you have it. Every team is represented, and both leagues have 34 players. Our national crisis has been averted, thanks to me and my red sharpie.
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