Jun 29, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; Toronto Blue Jays relief pitcher Steve Delabar (50) pitches against the Boston Red Sox during the seventh inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Heyman Barking Up The Wrong All-Star Tree


Trust me, I was every bit as surprised at the Toronto Blue Jays placing four players on the American League roster for the 2013 All-Star Game as anyone. After all, we are talking about a last place team here, and yet Toronto is sending Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Brett Cecil, and now Steve Delabar to New York to represent the American League.

However, while I was surprised, I was not snide about it, as Jon Heyman was last night, as seen in the tweet below.

Yes Mr. Heyman, we realize the process is flawed and that some people are getting omitted, but the middle relievers are not really the problem here.

Heyman actually has solid ground to stand on in regards to who was omitted. Evan Longoria, Adrian Beltre, and Josh Donaldson are all more than deserving of being on the squad, as their stats below show.

Evan Longoria

Year G PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
2013 90 387 54 96 21 2 18 51 1 .284 .362 .518 .880 144
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/12/2013.

Josh Donaldson

Year G PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
2013 90 378 49 104 23 1 15 58 2 .313 .384 .524 .908 151
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/12/2013.

Adrian Beltre

Year G PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+
2013 90 386 53 115 22 0 20 53 0 .318 .360 .544 .904 138
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/12/2013.

The three of those players ranks 4th, 10th, and 26th in baseball fWAR and 11th, 19th, and 22nd in wRC+ respectively. There is no doubting their merits to their teams or among the league leaders in general.

But the point isn’t should they be here, but who should they replace.

Heyman specifically calls out the Blue Jays relievers Cecil and Delabar, as if their selection(s) somehow kept one or all of these shunned stars off the roster. And that may be true to some capacity, as the American League is sending two more pitchers than the National League is, including five relief pitchers and three middle relievers (Cecil, Delabar, Crain).

However, if that is a point of contention, how many third baseman does the roster require?

The AL roster already has both Baltimore Orioles phenom Manny Machado and Detroit Tigers all-world Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera on it. Do we need to add Beltre for a possible pinch-hitting appearance or Donaldson and Longoria as a defensive replacement?

No, I imagine the inclusion of two extra middle relievers is for the fact that the starters selected are not expected to pitch more than an inning, if at all.

It’s all part of knowing the remaining part of the roster and knowing how it fits together. How else do you explain why Ben Zobrist was the lone selection from the Tampa Bay Rays (Matt Moore was later added as a substitute for Yu Darvish)? It was all about roster flexibility that Zobrist presented the team.

No Mr. Heyman, if you want to take exception, take it elsewhere with the roster than with the two Blue Jays relievers. Take it with Nelson Cruz roaming the outfield and Jhonny Peralta playing back-up at shortstop for an “All-Star” team while awaiting possible Biogenesis suspensions after the All-Star Game. Take it with the need for a third second baseman in Jason Kipnis despite a better option of Donaldson or Longoria.

If you really want to take exception with the Blue Jays, take it with the fans selecting Jose Bautista to start, or with the coaches picking the still worthy Edwin Encarnacion for the bench.

Take it with whatever player you want to. Just don’t take it with the two relievers who have worked their butts off to try and salvage what they can for this team and have made themselves into All-Stars in the process.

Tags: Toronto Blue Jays

  • RyanMueller

    Love the passion and very well written. I wonder if Heyman, or anyone else for that matter, would have an issue if TO was in or even around 1st place. To me this the bigger issue. Jose and Edwin shouldn’t be on the team (not saying they aren’t worthy) over the other three noted in your article. They just haven’t been consistent compared to other three.

  • AJ Stewart

    First off, if your raising questions about why Nelson Cruz isn’t ALL-STAR-worthy then you clearly havent been watching baseball.

  • AJ Stewart

    2. when you wrote this there were only 6 RP, which i already thought was overkill and stupid, given the fact there were several deserving SP left off like DEREK HOLLAND, KURODA, ETC. Meanwhile, Masterson gets selected, he’s good but not all-star-good. NOW, TODAY MLB ANNOUNCES REPLACEMENTS and for Verlander & Iwakuma, SP mind you. No Kuroda, No Anibal, No Lackey, there was a Holland but not Derek Holland. Yes, 2 more RP, as if they didnt think people were mad enough with 6.

  • AJ Stewart

    ASG AL Roster Summary:
    Reserve
    Positions not matter that much in ASG anyways since players are in there for maybe an inning and alot of them are just used as pinch hitters. The extra 2B or 3B can easily play SS if nec and cutting down C from 3 to 2 opens up another spot.
    SNUBS: BELTRE, DONALDSON, LONGORIA, RIOS, ELLSBURY
    C: 2 — why 3 total? – Castro or Perez not worthy – REPLACE
    1B: 1
    2B: 3 –why 4 total? Zobrist not worthy – REPLACE
    SS: 1 – Peralta – not worthy – REPLACE
    3B: 1
    OF: 3 –GORDON, HUNTER not worthy. REPLACE w RIOS, ELLSBURY
    DH: 1