Monday, June 18, 2012

2012 All-Star Game: Projected Lineups

Have you voted for any Red Sox players for the 2012 All-Star Team?

Jeff Passan over at Yahoo! Sports has projected the All-Star lineups, and the only member of the Sox that he expects to make the AL roster is David Ortiz. 

To put that in context: 

In 2011, the Sox sent Ortiz, Gonzalez, Youkilis, Ellsbury, Beckett, and Lester. 

In 2010, it was Ortiz, Pedroia, Martinez, Beltre, and Buchholz.

In 2009, it was Youkilis, Pedroia, Bay, Beckett, Papelbon, and Wakefield.

In 2008, it was Ortiz, Youkilis, Pedroia, Varitek, Drew, Ramirez, and Papelbon.

In 2007, it was Ortiz, Lowell, Ramirez, Beckett, and Papelbon.

In 2006, it was Ortiz, Loretta, Ramirez, and Papelbon.

In 2005, it was Ortiz, Damon, Varitek, Ramirez, and Clement.

In 2004, it was Ortiz, Ramirez, and Schilling.

In 2003, it was Varitek, Garciaparra, and Ramirez.

In 2002, it was Damon, Hillenbrand, Ramirez, Garciaparra, Martinez, Lowe, and Urbina.

You have to go all the way back to 2001 to find a year when the Red Sox sent only one player -- Manny Ramirez.  The Sox finished that year 82-79. 

Ortiz is a fixture at the game, but have the Sox really fallen so far that he is the only superstar among the lot? 

The team has been absolutely knocking the cover off the ball, but the problem is that very few players have stayed sufficently injury-free to be regular contributors.  Among the current starting lineup, only four players have played in at least 55 of Boston's 66 games so far this season: Ortiz, Pedroia, Avilez, and Gonzalez.  They are hitting 0.311, 0.286, 0.262, and 0.260, respectively. 

Other than Ortiz, the hitter with the best case is perhaps Saltalamacchia.  He's played in 53 games, which is pretty good for a catcher, and while he's hitting only 0.257, he has 12 homers and 33 RBI.  Get out there and vote for Saltalamacchia!

Turning to the pitchers, there is no need to explain why the Sox won't be sending a starter to the All-Star game.  While the RP slots are usually dominated by closers, there is a good case to be made that Scott Atchison (23 games, 29 K, 7 BB, 1.24 ERA) is deserving of a nod. 

Of course, the fans don't select the pitchers--the players, coaches and managers do.  Hopefully, they won't remember that in Atchison's last All-Star game, while representing the AAA Tacoma Raniers in 2004, Atchison gave up a walkoff home run.  Anyhow, let's cross our fingers for Atchison as well.  He's been a rock.

Surely, surely, this team is more exciting than the 2001 Red Sox?

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