As we passed the quarter pole of the baseball season early this week, the All-Star game voting – a wonderful adventure in people voting for guys they’ve kind of heard of, and for that #7 hitter on the home team because he’s so good – will gain steam. Some players who are ineffective and coasting on reputation will get votes and induce vomiting. This is a list of guys you should not be voting for. These are your 2011 American League All-Star Non-Stars (NL tomorrow).
In order to be eligible for our list, you must have been on at least one previous All-Star team, and need to be an everyday player who has played most of the season (so no guys who have been out most of the season with injury problems on this list, because were looking for the non-stars who have earned it through bad play).
C: A.J. Pierzynski, White Sox (.252, .288, .305). He’s such a likeable guy that I hate to even put him on this list.
1B: Justin Morneau, Twins (.223, .294, .323). He was having a great 2010 until a serious concussion caused him to miss the rest of the season. He still isn’t back.
2B: Brian Roberts, Orioles (.221, .273, 331). The veteran second baseman was having back spasms in the spring, and has struggled so far. He does not get the publicity of Jeter, but he has been just as big a strain on the Orioles’ lineup batting out of the leadoff spot.
SS: Derek Jeter, Yankees (.253, .309, .310). The Captain of our team, and we can actually sorta kinda justify hitting him leadoff with this group.
3B: Chone Figgins, Mariners (.223, .266, .304). I went with Figgins over Inge here because Chone has been considered a better player in the past, and has been a dreadful acquisition for the Mariners.
LF: Carl Crawford, Red Sox (.208, .241, .283). Vernon Wells is the biggest snub on this list, as he absolutely deserves to be on this team. But he’s going up against a horrible start by Crawford as a new acquisition with high expectations for the Red Sox.
CF: Alex Rios, White Sox (.201, .266, .299). How great was that decision by Kenny Williams to pick up Rios and 6 remaining years off waivers in 2009?
RF: Torii Hunter, Angels (.227, .312, .337). You could put Nick Swisher here, but Hunter’s the bigger name, and has made the switch to a power position in right field while seeing his offensive numbers decline.
DH: Adam Dunn, White Sox (.197, .322, .362). I had originally selected Jorge Posada for this honor, but he felt insulted and refused the spot. So, Dunn gets the spot. Sure, he’s still walking as much as normal, bolstering up a low batting average, but the White Sox didn’t sign him to play exclusively DH in the American League to slug .362 and have 4 home runs in his first season on the South Side.
Starting Rotation: John Lackey, Red Sox (2-5, 8.07 ERA), Carl Pavano, Twins (2-4, 5.89 ERA), Francisco Liriano, Twins (3-5, 6.12 ERA), Ervin Santana, Angels (1-4, 4.85 ERA), Edwin Jackson, White Sox (3-5, 4.53 ERA). It was tough to come up with a starting rotation with the “former All-Star limitation”, and like most real teams who struggle to find a fifth starter, Edwin Jackson probably doesn’t deserve to be lumped with others. We do have a clear ace though in John Lackey, and the Twins own this category.
Relievers: Brian Fuentes, Athletics (1-3, 9 saves, 4.19 ERA), Matt Thornton, White Sox (0-3, 1 save, 6.08 ERA), Joe Nathan, Twins (0-1, 3 saves, 7.43 ERA) I hesitate to put Nathan on this list because he is coming back from a full season out, and he has been a little better of late. Fuentes is so overrated and is again getting saves while putting up a high ERA. Thornton was selected as an All-Star as a setup man last year, but has been dreadful in 2011.
[photo via Getty]