All-Star Update

MLB has released the latest update on the All-Star voting and there would be three Cubbies in the starting lineup. Alfonso Soriano and Kosuke Fukudome are one and two among the outfielders and Geovany Soto has a commanding lead over Brian McCann at catcher.

Of course, none of them deserve it, but it pays to be on a popular team that also happens to have the best record in baseball. A matter of fact, all the Cubbies are enjoying the residual benefits of a. 632 winning percentage. Derrek Lee is second in the voting, Mark DeRosa is second (poor Dan Uggla), Ryan Theriot is third and Aramis Ramirez is second(actually well-deserved). Using an advanced metric such as Runs Created, as tracked by The Hardball Times, here's how the All-Star voting should be shaking out. An asterisk indicates they are actually leading the voting.

C - Brian McCann (2nd in the voting). Geovany Soto is third in Runs Created and VORP at catcher behind McCann and Martin.

1B - Lance Berkman* - Derrek Lee is 7th in RC and no, his defense does not make up for that difference.

2B - Dan Uggla (4th in the voting, although Utley is just behind him in runs created). Mark DeRosa is 5th in Runs Created at second base.

SS - Hanley Ramirez* - Ryan Theriot is 6th in Runs Created, but third in the voting.

3B - Chipper Jones* - Aramis is 2nd in Runs Created and the voting.

OF - Nate McClouth, Pat Burrell & Jason Bay (Burrell is 6th, McClouth is 15th and I'm not sure where Bay is, but it's below 15th). Fukudome is 5th in Runs Created and tops among right fielders. Soriano is tied with Juan Pierre right now, mostly due to injury, but enough said.

When they get around to deciding about the pitchers, Dempster and Zambrano are currently six and seven in pitching runs created. Zambrano's current DL trip will probably cost him a spot and Dempster's glossy win-loss record will probably get him a trip to Yankee Stadium. Kerry Wood and Carlos Marmol both have very strong cases as well. Marmol is second in Relievers Expected Wins Added as tracked by Baseball Prospectus in the NL and second in Win Probabilty Added as tracked by Fangraphs (in both cases he's behind Brad Lidge). Kerry Wood doesn't fare as well in the advanced metrics, but is tied with Brian WIlson for the lead league in saves and has pretty-looking 2.56 ERA.

So the Cubs will likely have anywhere from six to eight representatives at the Mid-Summer classic. The three starters voted in and Aramis, plus whatever pitchers get tabbed. Maybe they don't all individually deserve it, but this team certainly does. And I think we're all smart enough around here to realize that the power of being a Cub, plus a good team equals lots of All-Star players.

And let's say I wouldn't be suprised if a Cubbie made the list of five for the last spot that gets voted in by the fans. That player could be Marmol or Wood or (gasp) Aramis if the reserved selection is really messed up. And let's say the power of Cubbie Nation or whatever term you wish to label the enormous collection of Cubs fans around the world, will be sure that player voted in is a Cub.

Now if there are two Cubs on that final five list...well, we might have a mini-Cub civil war on our hands.


If Vance Law could make it 1989...

Woo! Second Vance Law reference this week (other was in parachat). Vance Law trifecta is now in play...

Damn, Utley... guess that slump won't hurt your All Star chances. :-)


why in holy hell did Guillen use DeWayne Wise in CF, Swisher at 1b and Thome on the bench with Konerko out?

I know Thome's struggling a bit, but come on.

That's so Dusty....

The story going around the local media was that Ozzie was afraid Thome might "hurt himself" in the field.

And I believe he' signed through 2009 also.


A rare effort that doesn't read like it was written in his underwear and phoned in from home*

*even though it probably was.

speaking of the final five...

it's possible that Aramis and Marmol both end up on that list. That sure would be a tough call.

Believe it or not, the name of the event is ALL STAR game not ALL STATS game.

good point, apologies to Mr. Soriano.

Tell that to Tim McCarver...

geo's having a hell of a crappy's not doing too swift, himself...all 20ab's he's had this june.

blanco's gonna be lucky to see 120ab's this year =p

geo's only got 1 double and hitting .200 in june. at least he's still getting his homers and his D is pretty nice. hope he stays fresh pulling into sept/oct.

and speaking of the A/S game...jeter is still in 1st in the AL SS last i saw. ha.

and speaking of the A/S game...jeter is still in 1st in the AL SS last i saw. ha.

that's okay crunch, because it's the ALL-STAR GAME, not the ALL STAT game...haven't you heard?

all snarkiness aside, Jeter is actually tied for runs created among shortstop with Michael Young. And there are many folks (like Joe Sheehan of BP for example) who feel that the ASG shouldn't just reward players for 2-3 good months and subsequently penalize other "star" players for a bad 2-3 months. And I don't necessarily disagree with that....




Well... while Jeter has had a pretty awful year relative to his career, he is still third in the AL in OPS amont SS's (behind Young and Peralta), tied for first (with Young) in Runs Created, tied for third in Win Shares (behind Young and O. Cabrera), and 2nd in VORP (behind Young).

So it isn't like he is an awful choice, though Young would be the obvious and better choice. But sadly, even with Jeter's bad year, he hsa been the 2nd best SS in the AL this year.

Or what Rob said while I was writing and "researching" my comment.

Apparently Cub fans aren't the only ones stuffing the ballot box.

Jason Kendall is 3rd at Catcher?
Bill Hall 4th at 3B?
Rickie Weeks 5th at 2B?

I didn't know the Brew Crew had that many fans!

Can they really take 8 Cubs when they need one member of each team to be on the NL Squad?

It appears that in the last 8 years or so, only 2 set up men have ever made the All Star team (2001 and 2002 I believe). With Marmol's ERA increasing by over a run in his last two appearances, I think that gives the league an easy out to skip over him again for some high profile closers. I think Wood does have a better chance than Marmol now.

I can't envision Soriano making it back in time, so I see:

And possible Lee as one of the final 5.

Even if Soriano doesn't go, he counts as he's voted in and would then be replaced. But 8 would be rather unlikely.

Soriano, Fuku, Soto, Ramirez and Dempster at this point seem like guarantees.

Z's DL trip will cost him, and they would probably just take one of Marmol vs Wood. The only way both would make it is if one is chosen and another makes the final five and gets voted in...which I don't think is completely unrealistic.

Lee has little chance, after Berkman, Adrian Gonzalez has to be on the team as the Padres representative. That doesn't leave him much of a chance...although possibly another of the last five that gets voted on.



There are way more than 2 that have the the All-Star team. I posted all of them on here a few weeks back. I can't find my old post, but Okajami made it last year, Donnelly, Remlinger, Stanton, Quantrill, Nelson, and a few others in there. It would not be unheard of for Marmol to make it. Lee has really no shot. Way too many first basemen having better years. And Dempster will most likley go as well.

How many 3rd basemen can they take? Chipper's in, no doubt. But the Mets need a representative, and David Wright seems likely. That could keep Aramis on the sideline, which would be a crying shame.

if that scenario happens, there's no doubt that Aramis would be part of the final five that's voted on though and the power of Cubdom will put him in the ASG.

I would say that both Beltran and Reyes are having better years than Wright.

Recent comments

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  • based on what SF has been doing every other year lately, getting access to the postseason playoffs seems to be what's important. bring on dat short series!

    that said, skipping the sudden death 1-game WC would be nice from here on out.

  • I know what you are saying, but I feel compelled to point out that there's no such thing as luck, curses, etc. The Cubs this year have as good as a chance as the Pirates to move on to the next round. If the Cubs proceed to the next round or not tomorrow, it will not be because of luck, but because one team outlasted the other. When/if the Cubs are lucky enough to make it to the league series, that's where they may find their biggest challenge. The Dodgers have a good, deep pitching staff.

  • debuting the new format 1 game "sudden death" WC matchup at yankee stadium does a perfect job of showing the intense emotion and drama this game can be.

    that said, i'm ready to not see yankee stadium or hear fans at yankee stadium for another 5 and 1/2 months. at least i don't have to sit through the braves with their "tommy hawk chawp" this postseason.

  • i'd like to know why the internet radio feed of the game (which is always delayed by a few seconds at best) is almost a minute faster than the ESPN cable TV coverage. wtf?

  • i dont know what order they'll be in, but i pretty much expect fowler/schwarb/rizzo/bryant/montero/castro/lastella/arrieta. any change at all (aside from the first 4 guys) wouldn't shock me, though. coghlan is still a wildcard in the lineup joe could always march d.ross out there with very slow arrieta pitching.

  • Yup. Have to agree. Baseball, like golf, certainly has that psych component for the player. There is no real reason why a fielding position should affect a batting average. The Cubs are 106 years over due for a little luck. Don't you guys think so? Maybe the rookies can bring some dumb luck on.

  • probably stacking capable lefties vs cole while keeping the "hot" castro in the game. fwiw, he's 1-6 lifetime with 0 bb/k vs cole (double).

    i chalk bryant's issues at the plate while playing OF up to coincidence so far.

  • I will call your dead horse, "Trigger".

    In one game, when anything is possble, I am glad that Joe Maddon is our Manager.

    He knows the stats better than all of us. It would seem, IF La Stella gets the start at 3B, it will be only up to the point that they were to get the lead (crosses fingers). From everything I have read, the game will be managed like a hoops game: offense/defense. So expect La Stella to be out of the game by the 5th. This team is incredibly deep which is so surprising. We never woulda thunk it.

  • i don't know what their roster plans are, but j.herrera is out there practicing with the team.

    i can't imagine him making any roster, though. dude had 4 PA the entire month of sept. him being a good dude to be around while keeping the clubhouse loose seems to be his main role at this point.

  • I know it's my own personal dead horse to beat --but Bryant has been a lousy hitter when playing the OF this year. Given that it's his first playoff game, I really hope they keep him in his natural position and don't mess with his routine.

    Lousy as in 8-for-45 with one XBH and no HR. Small sample and all that -- but why take the chance?

  • hard to tell what's up given they'll probably want to stack as many good lefties into the lineup as possible.

    castro being a bit hot doesn't help things. if he was still cool they'd probably stick la stella at 2nd and call it a day.

  • Madden won't announce lineups but Stella is practicing at 3rd and Bryant in LF today. I'd rather see Bryant at 3rd but I guess Stella has been hotter than Coghlan.

    /edit. Though I guess they could be practicing this with the idea Stella would come in as a PH then double switch him to 3rd base and Bryant to LF. Hope that's the plan instead

  • I really like the sound of that idea about expanding the AFL to ten teams. Each org. gets to field more players.
    They should do that anyway, regardless of Adv. Instructs.

  • Dallas Beeler, Corey Black, David Garner, Pierce Johnson, Steve Perakslis, James Pugliese, Duane Underwood Jr, and Rob Zastryzny threw early-morning bullpen side-sessions at Riverview yesterday.  

    Underwood threw last, and received specific one-on-one instruction from pitching coach Mike Mason. 

  • HAGSAG: There are only five advanced instructs squads left, and presently the only "co-op" team operating is the Angels/Cubs.

    The league was originally established as a "parallel" league to the AFL (a sort of "junior AFL"), for players too advanced for traditional ("basic") instructs but who were unable to get placed on AFL rosters due to AFL player-limits.

  • He is but I would think it'd be better to start out with offense and then bring in Jackson and LaStella once they have a lead. Stella has very good PH #s too.