Does Any Oakland Athletic Deserve to be an All Star?
The short answer is not really. Ok, thanks for reading!
But, the fact is due to semi-stupid MLB rules, somebody from every major league team has to be an All-Star. That’s good news for the A’s who frankly don’t have a player on the current roster who deserves to play in the All Star game.
The Oakland A’s are touting both Coco Crisp and Josh Willingham as players we (fans) should vote into the All Star game. Let’s take a closer look at those two players shall we?
Coco Crisp is fifth on the team in batting average with .256 (not very good), he is among the American League leaders in stolen bases with 19 (very good). He leads the team in doubles with 14 (ok), triples with 5 (pretty good), has 2 home runs (weak) and 21 RBIs (pretty weak). Based on numbers alone, he just doesn’t have the All Star pedigree.
Now let’s look at Josh Willingham. First the good – Willingham has hit 10 home runs and 41 RBIs, both tops on the team (good). Now the bad – Willingham has a .234 average (ouch) and 73 strike outs to 22 walks… umm what? So basically he’s Jack Cust with less walks. Great! All Star caliber – heck no!
So where does that leave us? Pitching. Former All Star Andrew Bailey has been hurt all year so he’s not a candidate and last year’s all Star Trevor Cahill is mired in a terrible pitching slump that has seen his ERA rise to 3.42 (still pretty good) and his record to 6-5 after losing 3 straight. Cahill looked like a lock at the beginning of the year but now it’s looking very questionable. Brett Anderson is out for at least 6 weeks and nearly every other starter is hurt… except for Gio Gonzalez.
Gonzalez has not been ‘lights out’ by any means but might be one of the few All Star candidates on the A’s roster. While his 5-5 record might not be turning any heads, his 2.67 ERA probably is, along with 72 strike outs to only 40 walks.
Another real candidate, similar to when former Athletic Justin Ducscherer was the lone A’s All Star as a middle reliever, I believe Grant Balfour has a chance to represent the A’s as well. Balfour has appeared in 29 games, has a 4-1 record with a 2.86 ERA. With 29 strike outs to 14 walks, Balfour has certainly anchored the middle of the bullpen.
Besides Gonzalez and Balfour, I think it’s tough to make a case for any other Athletic making the All Star game this year. Although, I think I’m ready to begin the Jemile Weeks for 2012 All Star game right now. That guy can flat out play.