There are still a few days left in voting for the 2012 All-Star Game, but that doesn't mean it is too early to predict the ENTIRE American League All-Star roster. That's a good thing, because that is just what I went and did. I'd hate to think I wasted all that time guessing at the roster selections for an exhibition game. Phew!
C - Mike Napoli: A million votes ahead of Mauer, he's a lock.
1B - Prince Fielder: He'll beat out Konerko barring last minute voter fraud. That would never happen in Chicago, right?
2B - Robinson Cano: He is in a tight race with Kinsler but appears to have the momentum.
3B - Adrian Beltre: Miguel Cabrera is making a late push, but it looks to be too little too late.
SS - Derek Jeter: You can't keep the Captain down.
OF - Josh Hamilton: He's on the verge of a new voting record, so he seems like a safe bet.
OF - Curtis Granderson: He was on the cusp for awhile but is now in with ease.
OF - Jose Bautista: The ballot box stuffers in Texas could push Nelson Cruz past Joey Bats, but they have tailed off too much of late to close the gap.
DH - David Ortiz: He's going to get the start, let's hope he doesn't rip these teammates in the media.
C - Joe Mauer: Not only is Mauer hitting well enough to earn the nod, but he also could end up conveniently filling the need to make sure at least one Twin makes the team.
C - Matt Wieters: AJ Pierzynski has a case here, but nobody likes him, so expect Wieters to get picked.
1B - Paul Konerko: He probably should be starting the game, but this will have to do.
2B - Ian Kinsler: This isn't his finest season, but his reputation should earn him the spot in the players' voting.
3B - Miguel Cabrera: He isn't going to catch Beltre, but he definitely show well in players' voting.
SS - Asdrubal Cabrera: No love in the fan voting for him this season, but his Web Gem exploits and solid production should earn him the nod over his doubleplay partner Jason Kipnis.
SS - Elvis Andrus: He's had a great season, but he could get squeezed off the roster to make room for mandatory team selections. Good thing his manager gets to pick the squad this season
OF - Adam Jones: The leader of the upstart Orioles simply has to make the team.
OF - Mike Trout: He's a star in the making, Bud Selig will do everything within his power to make sure he is included in this showcase.
OF - Josh Willingham: The stupidity of the player voting mandate the pick three OF back-ups, with the way things are shaping up, it looks like he could luck into a slot even though their are more deserving candidates.
1B/DH - Edwin Encarnacion: There is no way he and his 21 homers can be left off the roster.
1B/OF - Mark Trumbo: It was comical that he was listed as a 3B on the ballot, but his breakout season should still earn him a spot, assuming Ron Washington doesn't stick it to his division rival.
SNUBS: Jason Kipnis, Mike Moustakas, Brett Lawrie, Josh Reddick
SP - Justin Verlander: The presumptive starting pitcher for the AL.
SP - Chris Sale: Not only might he be the best pitcher so far this season, but his experience as a lights out lefty reliever actually makes him a great tactical weapon since "this one counts."
SP - Jered Weaver: In this tight field, his DL stint could've cost him, but his no-hitter should make his selection a certainty.
SP - CC Sabathia: His ERA is a little high, but he has the brand name recognition and track record to get the respect of his peers.
SP - David Price: This selection could come down to him or C.J. Wilson. Sabathia wins the tie-breaker since he wasn't the guy voted "most overrated" in a recent player poll and isn't the guy with a douchey reputation whose former manager is picking the team.
SP - Brandon McCarthy: Not the flashiest name, but he is very popular. Also, the A's need a representative. It doesn't hurt that he seems like a potential injury replacement either.
SP - Felix Hernandez: Thank goodness for King Felix, otherwise finding a Mariner for this squad would get really tough.
SP - Yu Darvish: He may be the third-most deserving Ranger starting pitcher, but this is about drawing eyeballs and having Darvish on the team should mean big rating (and big bucks) in the Japanese market.
RP - Fernando Rodney: I know, it doesn't look right to me either.
RP - Chris Perez: Cleveland fans may not like him, but he leads the AL in saves, and that counts come All-Star time.
RP - Jonathan Broxton: He's having a great comeback season and just so happens to fill the mandatory Royal statute.
RP - Joe Nathan: Thanks for picking me, Ron!
RP - Scott Downs: He isn't a full-time closer, but one setup man always seems to make it. This selection is as much about his miniscule 0.36 ERA as it is his long tenure as arguably the most underrated reliever in baseball.
SNUBS: Jake Peavy, C.J. Wilson, Matt Harrison, Jason Hammel, Brandon Morrow, Colby Lewis, Ernesto Frieri, Jim Johnson, Rafael Soriano, Ryan Cook
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I just put this up yesterday as an argument for the four Indians candidates: http://burningriverbaseball.com/articles/analysis/vote-tribe-2012.html
I definitely think Jason Kipnis has outplayed Kinsler and the Rangers should have plenty of players on the team already just looking at the voting. Also, take a look at Vinnie Pestano, leading the league in holds with a killer WHIP & ERA.
By the way, Cleveland absolutely adores Chris Perez. He was right and everyone knows it. I've never heard a single bad word said by an Indians fan about Pure Rage.
@burningriverbaseball I agree that Kipnis has likely been better, but the issue is that the players vote for the first round of back-ups and I think that will likely favor a veteran like Kinsler. Still, Kipnis has a great case and seems like an ideal choice as an injury replacement for someone.
As for Perez, I just recall him getting booed quite a bit at the beginning of the year.
@monkeywithahalo He blew a save opening day and was later booed when he walked someone so he lashed out at the fans. Since then he has been getting rousing cheers every time he pitches and hasn't blown a save since day 1. The only reason he could hear the boos were because there were only about 7,000 people at the game. The majority of Cleveland fans would never boo, but the majority of Clevelanders can't afford to go to baseball games.