Will any Rangers make the All Stars?

by Dan M | Posted on Friday, June 24th, 2016

Apr 4, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers left fielder Ian Desmond (20) in the batters box during the game against the Seattle Mariners  at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

BY DIC HUMPHREY
DIC.HUMPHREY@YAHOO.COM

The Major League Baseball All-Star game is barely two weeks
away, as it is scheduled for Tuesday, July 12. This year it will be
played in San Diego’s Petco Park, a beautiful venue in its 13th year
of operation.
It will be the third time the game has been played in San Diego.
The other two seasons that the game was hosted by San Diego were 1978
and 1992, both of which were played in the Stadium originally named
Jack Murphy Stadium and later changed to Qualcomm Stadium.
The game will be televised on the FOX Network, and ESPN will have
the radio coverage.
Fan voting for the position player starters is ongoing and
continues until June 30. The leading vote getters at each American
League position in the most recently announced results are catcher
Salvador Perez (Kansas City), the current leading vote getter in the
American League with almost 3,000,000 fan votes, Eric Hosmer (Kansas
City) at first base, Jose Altuve (Houston) at second base, Xander
Bogaerts (Boston) at shortstop, Manny Machado (Baltimore) at third
base, David Ortiz (Boston) at designated hitter, and Mike Trout (Los
Angeles), Jackie Bradley, Jr. (Boston) and Mookie Betts (Boston) in
the outfield.
In the National League, the current leading vote getters are
Yadier Molina (St. Louis) at catcher, Anthony Rizzo (Chicago) at first
base, Ben Zobrist (Chicago) at second base, Addison Russell (Chicago)
at shortstop, Kris Bryant (Chicago) at third base, and outfielders
Yeonis Cespedes (New York), Dexter Fowler (Chicago) and Bryce Harper
(Washington).
So far this season the Cubs have dominated the National League.
They had the best record in baseball after Thursday’s games at 47-24.
In the American League, the Rangers have been almost as
dominant. They match the Cubs’ 47 wins, but have 26 losses. Their 10
game lead over Houston is the largest lead in any of MLB’s six
divisions.
As far as All-Star voting goes though, the Cubs currently have
the leading vote getter for five of the eight positions, including the
entire infield. Texas on the other hand has no player leading to be a
starter in the All-Star game. In fact, Adrian Beltre and Elvis Andrus
are attracting the most attention. Both are fourth in the fan vote at
their position.
The question is then on July 12, who will be wearing a Ranger
uniform in San Diego? At least one player from each team must go. As
far as Ranger position players go, Ian Desmond has been the Rangers’
best offensive player, and he’s been fantastic defensively in the
outfield. If the Rangers end up with just one All-Star, Desmond
should be the one. However, he ranked only ninth in the outfield
voting in this week’s results.
Adrian Beltre, Elvis Andrus and Rougned Odor deserve strong
consideration. In Odor’s case, second base is stacked. Seattle’s
Robinson Cano, Detroit’s Ian Kinsler, and Boston’s Dustin Pedroia are
all better known and having good seasons. Also Odor’s part in the on
field fracas with Toronto on May 15 may be viewed with admiration by
Ranger fans, but he is viewed negatively by people elsewhere.
The fan vote will determine 17 All-Stars – eight position
players in each league and a designated hitter in the American League.
The All-Star managers – Terry Collins of the Mets and Ned Yost of the
Royals, the skippers that led their 2015 teams to the World Series –
will fill out the roster along with the player vote to a total of 34
players for each squad. The 35th roster spot will come from another
fan vote with five unselected players in each league on the ballot.
However, there are usually more All-Stars, perhaps as many as 40
per team. Injuries happen to players selected, and those All-Stars
are replaced. Also, starting pitchers that pitch on the Sunday prior
to the game are ineligible; so any selected are replaced.
Pitching-wise, the Rangers’ Cole Hamels should get strong
consideration with an 8-1 record and 2.79 ERA. The eight wins ties
him for fifth and the ERA is fourth in the A.L.
Colby Lewis would have been a consideration earlier this week,
but his injury has taken him out of the running.
Five starting pitchers are a requirement, but there is one
theory that the balance of the pitching staff will be relievers.
In the game, once the starting pitcher goes one or two innings,
All-Star managers usually use a pitcher for only one inning, so it
might as well be a reliever that has a normal routine of pitching one
inning per appearance. Sam Dyson with 15 saves in 16 opportunities is
a likely Ranger candidate.
It is an interesting dichotomy between the teams dominating each
league. The Cubs are obviously doing it with a star studded roster.
The Rangers however, are doing it with a tremendous team work ethic.
The Ranger pieces may not be All-Stars, but they fit together nicely.
Manager Jeff Banister is making it work.
Ranger fans may be disappointed that there won’t be more Rangers
in San Diego next month, but the real prize is Rangers playing
baseball deep into October. This Ranger team looks like the real deal
for the post season.

ALL-STAR NOTES
o Since this is the second year in a row that the game is being held
in a National League park, the American League will actually be the
home team in the game despite the venue in a National League park.
o This will be the 87th All-Star game.

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