The 2019 MLB All-Star Game rosters were announced on Sunday and to my surprise a couple of Yankees who should have made it did not. Now, I’m all for having the fans vote for your favorite players, but how do fans give more votes to the Orioles 1st baseman Chris Davis than the AL leader in Home runs, Edwin Encarnacion? That is a problem. Also, I’d rather see the best players from each league, so if that means that a team does not get representation, so be it.
Let’s get into the 1st snub, Luke Voit, who just went on the IL Monday with an abdominal strain, so he would not be able to play anyway, and Edwin Encarnarcion for some odd reason did not even finish in the top 10 in the voting for 1st baseman. Voit’s numbers are very similar to starter Carlos Santana from Cleveland, and backup Jose Aberu with the White Sox. Voit has 17 home runs and 50 runs batted in, is batting .280 and since coming over from St. Louis in August of 2018, is statistically the 5th best hitter in the game. Santana is slightly better, with 18 home runs 50 RBIs and his average is .293. Aberu has 19 homers and 60 RBIs. Encarnacion also has some pretty good numbers with 24 Home Runs and 55 runs batted in, but the average is lower at .225, but it is still shocking that he was so down on the list.
Snub number 2, Gleyber Torres, who is back at his natural position of 2nd base, he was listed as a shortstop on the All-Star ballot. Torres has 19 homers and 47 ribbies and his average is at .295. His numbers are better than the starting shortstop, Jorge Polanco of Minnesota, who only has 11 home runs and 39 RBIs, but is batting .320. The backup is Cleveland’s Fransico Lindor, and the only reason he was picked is because the All-Star Game is being played in his home ballpark. None of his numbers are better than Gleybers, and he only has 12 Home runs and 27 RBI. Lindor is a great player, but it has been a down year for him.
As for the rotation, none of their starting pitchers got a nod, but Domingo German definitely would be going if he had not gone on the IL. The only pitcher going is the Cuban Missile, Aroldis Chapman. There are only 4 relief pitchers on the American League roster. Adam Ottavino and Zack Britton are definitely two guys who could make a case. In 37 appearances this year, Ottavino has a 1.45 ERA with 52 strikeouts and batters are only hitting .172 against him. The one reliever who made the team is Cleveland’s Brad Hand, who has a 2.29 earned run average in 35 innings of work. Hand has been good, but Ottavino should have gotten his spot. Britton’s numbers are very close to Hands, with a 3–1 record and a 2.50 ERA. Zack has worked 36 innings, and his strikeout to walk ratio hurts with only 26 Ks and 20 batters walked.
There seems to be a trend with Yankees receiving their just rewards. First, let’s go all the way back to the 2016 season when Gary Sanchez was called up in the middle of August, and ended up cranking 20 homers that lead all AL rookies, as well as 42 RBIs in just 53 games! However, the Rookie of the Year award went to the Tigers Michael Fulmer who was 11–7 with a 3.06 ERA in 26 starts, which is very solid, but not an outstanding rookie season. Fulmer only had 11 wins on a team that won 86 games that year.
The following season, Aaron Judge was called up and hit an MLB record 52 Home Runs for a rookie and he knocked in a very impressive 114 runs. Judge, of course, did take home the AL Rookie of the Year, but he did not win the MVP Award, though, the winner was Houston Astros Jose Altuve. The 5’6 second baseman hit .346 with 24 home runs, but only had 81 ribbies. The vote was not even close. Altuve got 27 of the 30 first place votes, Judge got the other 3. The 2 top reasons why Altuve topped Judge are batting average and strike outs. Judge wiffed 208 times that year, and Altuve only K’d 84 times, because he is a “contact hitter”.
The final recent Yankee snub was last year’s 2018 American League Rookie of the Year, which was awarded to the Los Angeles Angels Shohei Ohtani. This one is just outrageous! Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres were both better than Ohtani. Andujar hit .297 with 27 home runs and 92 ribbies, while Torres hit .271 with 24 homers and 77 RBIs. Ohtani hit .285 with only 22 home runs and 61 RBIs. The Angels hybrid star received 25 of the 30 votes, on the strength of his being a pitcher, despite the fact he only pitched in 10 games, then needed Tommy John Surgery. When he did pitch, he did fairly well going 4 and 2 with a 3.31 ERA, but Shohei should not have won Rookie of the Year.
Going back to my All-Star snubs, hopefully Voit, Encarnacion, Torres and some of the bullpen guys have a chip on their shoulders and will have an even better 2nd half of the season and into the postseason to get this organization their 28th World Series win!