We knew that the American League's All-Star starting lineup would consist of roughly half of the Kansas City Royals squad. Yes, it's a joke, but hey - so is the game itself, kinda. The good news here is that one of the four Royals selected is not Omar Infante, which would have just made the entire thing a mockery of itself, which is at least some measure of a saving grace.
Our Twins didn't have a great deal of players who deserved to be in the running for a starting job, bar Brian Dozier. At this point the only second baseman in the league better than Dozier is Jason Kipnis, who continues to have a redonkulous season and yes that's a word. Both Kipnis and Dozier should be selected as bench players. Glen Perkins should make the team as a member of the bullpen. The only other players I could see even getting a sniff would be Trevor Plouffe (a long shot) or Torii Hunter (as a way to say thank you for a very good career).
Here is the American League starting lineup, next to the guys I selected for my team last week.
|Kansas City Royals||Salvador Perez||C||Stephen Vogt||Oakland Athletics|
|Detroit Tigers||Miguel Cabrera||1B||Miguel Cabrera||Detroit Tigers|
|Houston Astros||Jose Altuve||2B||Jason Kipnis||Cleveland Indians|
|Toronto Blue Jays||Josh Donaldson||3B||Josh Donaldson||Toronto Blue Jays|
|Kansas City Royals||Alcides Escobar||SS||Jose Iglesias||Detroit Tigers|
|Kansas City Royals||Alex Gordon||LF||Alex Gordon||Kansas City Royals|
|Los Angeles Angels||Mike Trout||CF||Mike Trout||Los Angeles Angels|
|Kansas City Royals||Lorenzo Cain||RF||Jose Bautista||Toronto Blue Jays|
Overall I don't mind the results of the fan vote, other than perhaps the fact that Jason Kipnis is so much better than Jose Altuve that it's not even funny.. Nelson Cruz was voted in as a designated hitter, which was something I failed to do, but he's a deserving a candidate as anyone; his 21 home runs tie him for third in the league with Trout. That's an odd factoid for two reasons: first because it's odd to see a center fielder crank 21 home runs, and second because neither of the two players in front of them on the home run leader board (Albert Pujols, 25; J.D. Martinez, 23) were voted in. Traditionally, home runs matter quite a bit for en masse fan voting.
Now that we know our starting nine, here are my top two choices for backup at each position.
Catcher: Stephen Vogt (OAK), Russell Martin (TOR)
First Base: Albert Pujoles (LAA), Mark Teixeira (NYY)
Second Base: Jason Kipnis (CLE), Brian Dozier (MIN)
Third Base: Manny Machado (BAL), Evan Longoria (TBR)
Shortstop: Xander Bogaerts (BOS), Jose Iglesias (DET)
Outfield: Kevin Kiermaier (TBR), Jose Bautista (TOR), J.D. Martinez (DET), Mookie Betts (BOS), George Springer (HOU), Torii Hunter (MIN)
Yeah, that's right. I went homer and picked Hunter as my sixth bench outfielder. Sue me.
Are there any particular players you're hoping make the team as bench options?