Monday, July 8, 2013

All-Stars Announced; Oakland A's Snubbed

As of Monday, July 7, 2013 only one Oakland Athletics player was named to the American League All-Star team, which will play at Citi Field in New York, the home of the Mets on Tuesday, July 16.

The A’s are a team vying for the best record in baseball, and currently have the best record in the AL West, and the reigning AL West Champions with several players having career years, yet the recognition did not come for the East Bay franchise. Only one player, Bartolo Colon was selected to the All-Star team, as a reserve.

While Colon was most definitely deserving of the recognition to be an All-Star with an 11-3 record, a 2.78 ERA with 61 strikeouts in 113.1 innings, he was not the only A’s player who deserved a nod, considering teams like the Seattle Mariners, Kansas City Royals and the Chicago White Sox all have more than one player in the All-Star Game and are not, let me repeat, not in first place in their respective divisions.

There are other A’s players who were deserving of a nod in my opinion, the first is closer Grant Balfour so far this season has posted a perfect 22 saves in 22 save opportunities with a 1.82 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 34.2 innings. Last week Balfour also tied an Oakland Athletics record with 40 consecutive saves without a blown save, dating back to last year. Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley previously held the record Balfour tied. On top of that, Balfour is the only closer in all of the MLB to not have blown a save this season.

Josh Donaldson, the A’s third baseman is having the best season in his career so far, hitting for a .319 average with 15 home runs and 57 RBIs. Donaldson’s .319 average and 57 RBIs are team highs and his 15 home runs are tied for most on the team with Yoenis Cespedes and Brandon Moss. While Donaldson is not the only third baseman having a good year in the American League, his numbers this season are deserving of a spot more so than Tampa Bay Rays Ben Zobrist who is hitting .262, with five home runs and 45 RBIs.

Another player who was snubbed at the likes of Zobrist is Jed Lowrie. Lowrie is hitting .301 with six home runs and 36 RBIs. His .301 batting average, is second in the American League for All-Shortstops behind only that of Detroit Tigers Jhonny Peralta, who was selected a reserve to that of Baltimore Orioles J.J. Hardy, who was selected via fan vote.

Currently Balfour, Donaldson and Lowrie still have a chance to be replacements for the All-Star game should someone get injured or pass on their nomination, it is not quite the same as being selected as a starter, or even that of a reserve. The most likely chance for any of three mentioned deserving All-Stars would be for Balfour to take the place of his teammate Colon, who will be pitching on the Sunday before the All-Star Game if all goes as plan in the next seven days.

While the A’s only have one All-Star slated to dawn an American League uniform, it might be for the best. The A’s who have traditionally been left out of the All-Star Game it might be more fuel for the team that is the defending 2012 American League West Champions.