Five Minnesota Twins Who Deserve to Play in the 2013 MLB All-Star Game
Five Minnesota Twins Who May Play in the 2013 MLB All-Star Game
Some teams benefit more than others from the rule that every team has to have at least one representative in the MLB All-Star Game each year. Through their lean years in the 1990’s, the Minnesota Twins were one of the teams that routinely had a player that may not have otherwise been worthy earn an All-Star selection.
But through their run to multiple division titles during the 2000’s the Twins had no issues having at least one player, and often more than one, that legitimately earned consideration for the American League All-Star team
Being in a smaller market certainly hurts the Twins in terms of earning All-Star votes, as fans of teams in East Coast cities fill the ballot box in order to see players from their favorite team start each year’s All-Star game. Right or wrong, fans play an integral part in selecting who participates in a game that determines home field advantage in the World Series. A downward turn in success on the field over the last couple years has also hurt the Twins in terms of All-Star selections, and quite simply not many players have proven worthy of consideration.
The Twins are again below .500 (34-39 entering Wednesday) and clinging to contention in the American League Central, but they are within striking distance of a playoff spot this late in the season for the first time since 2010.
The Twins have a couple of very worthy All-Stars this year that occupy the top of this list, but here are five players on the team who have at least a small chance to represent the American League at Citi Field in mid-July.
5. C/DH/OF Ryan Doumit
Doumit is a real long shot go to Citi Field as an American League All-Star, but his ability to play multiple positions could appeal to American League manager Jim Leyland and he has been hitting better after a bad April (.194, no home runs).
4. 1B Justin Morneau
Morneau went nearly two months without a home run, but he is leading the Twins in RBI with 42 and is hitting .324 with runners in scoring position entering Wednesday’s game against the Miami Marlins. It would take injuries to multiple other American League first baseman for Morneau to earn an All-Star selection, and his lack of home runs will surely hurt him compared to his peers at the position.
3. RP Jared Burton
Burton has had a rough run in June, with an 8.22 ERA in eight appearances (7.2 innings) so far. But his overall numbers are still solid for the season (3.51 ERA; 8.4 K/9) and he has teamed with closer Glen Perkins to form a very good late-inning bullpen duo for Minnesota.
2. RP Glen Perkins
Perkins has emerged as an excellent closer over the last two seasons, and he is 8-for-8 in save opportunities with zero runs allowed in June. Overall this season he has 19 saves (fifth in the American League) in 21 opportunities, along with a 2.20 ERA and elite level peripherals (12.6 K/9; 1.9 BB/9). Leyland would do well to have the left-hander from a division rival on his All-Star pitching staff.
1. C Joe Mauer
Mauer is the most obvious All-Star the Twins have, as he is in the top-10 of the American League in batting average (.332-third), on-base percentage (.414-second) and hits (93-eighth) entering Wednesday’s action. Barring a significant reversal in fan voting, Mauer will start behind the plate for the American League.