• http://travis.pflanz.me Travis Pflanz

    One thing I would like to see the All-Star game require – a minimum of three pitchers who are not considered starting pitchers or closers.

    Sure, all pitchers strive to be starters or closers, but let’s be real… Middle relievers appear in more games than either starters or closers in most years and they get next-to-no respect. Most of the time, only a middle reliever’s home town fans even know who they are.

    Requiring non-starter/closer pitchers would be a great way to recognize these players.

    My NL three:

    Jason Grilli, Pirates – Pitching (starters and bullpen) is the only reason the Pirates are one game behind the Reds in the NL Central – 2.05 ERA, 32 appearances, 32 IP, 48 K, .157 batting average against, 1.04 WHIP, 18 holds.

    Sergio Romo, Giants – The Giants are in first place in the NL West in large part because the performance of the bullpen. Even with the loss of Brian Wilson, the pen has been solid at the end with Romo setting up closer Santiago Casilla – 0.83 ERA, 28 appearances, 21.2 IP, 29 K, .135 BAA, .74 WHIP, 12 holds.

    Matt Belisle, Rockies – The Rockies are 13.5 games back in the NL West, but it’s not Belisle’s fault. He has been spectacular in 2012 – 1.93 ERA, 39 appearances, 42 IP, 34 K, .251 BAA, 1.17 WHIP, 10 holds.

  • Tom Backus

    I would love to see that. I seriously considered Romo and Grilli. Belisle is another very good one. David Hernandez (ARZ), Craig Stammen (WAS) and Jose Arredondo (CIN) deserve a look too. Glad to see Arredondo doing well after missing last year. I always thought he was solid with the Angels before that. Likewise, the AL would probably benefit from some combination of KC/TEX pen with a few others thrown in (Frieri, Benoit).

  • Tom Backus

    Furcal and Uggla being elected pushed Infante and Hill out of a spot. Sandoval pushed Freese out. I actually had LaHair over Goldschmidt, but changed it thinking the Cubs would only have one rep (Castro). 

    The big issue I had was with the exclusion of Grienke and Cueto. No Problem with Miley, but Lynn seemed like a stretch (thanks players!). Also would have put in Clippard over Papelbon.