The entire Blue Jays organization getting behind voting for Jose Bautista in this year’s All-Star game is a nice touch, really it is, but that being said, I don’t get it.
Until something changes, Jose Bautista is widely considered the best hitter in Major League Baseball at the moment.
He is leading the league in average with a .345 mark, is tops in homeruns with 20 and first in OPS – by a wide margin – with a 1.209.
This isn’t normally the type of player that needs a big push to be voted into the All-Star game. Now granted, I get it that he’s a player who employs his craft north of the border, so he doesn’t get as much attention, and I get it that it will be a cool honour if he continues to lead all voter getters. However, let’s be honest, when the American League squares off against the National League on July 12 in Arizona, Joey Bats will be hitting third in the lineup and standing in right field to open the game. I don’t think there’s much question in that, unless of course the AL manager is some sort of Charlie Sheen antithesis and doesn’t enjoy winning.
Anyway, my point in all this is that I find it odd that so much voting effort is being put behind a guy who will automatically make the team, when there are perfectly worthy Jays who likely aren’t going to even get a sniff of any significant amount of votes.
Carlos Villanueva deserves to be an All-Star, yet there’s virtually no chance he will ever make the team, or even come close.
Until I actually checked the numbers, I had the knowledge that Villanueva had been quite effective this year, but upon giving it a closer look, he truly has been a steady rock for the Jays, and arguably their best pitcher throughout the season.
And for those who like useless counting stats, he is 4-0 on the season.
Now, for the majority of the season he was a mop-up man, and that’s certainly not a celebrated position, but he has pretty much answered the call for whatever role the Jays have needed him in and he’s done it perfectly well.
Now, his 46.1 innings pitcher this year don’t yet qualify him for the official MLB leaderboards, but to put things in perspective, if he did quality (and he should eventually if he continues to start games), his AL ranks would be:
ERA: 12th (just ahead of C.C. Sabathia)
That, my friends, is an All-Star, in my opinion.
However, Charlie V’s great first half is likely to be nothing more than a good personal accomplishment, as part-time starters who play in Canada won’t likely ever get consideration for such an honour, no matter how good their numbers are.
However, if you are filling out an All-Star ballot between now and the deadline, sure, go ahead and vote Bautista into the game, but also, how about throwing a vote out for Carlos?*
(* Yes, we know you can’t vote pitchers into the All-Star Game. But the spirit of the post remains unchanged. Carlos has been good and deserves recognition. — Chris)