2013 MLB All-Star Game: The All-Snub Teams

2013 MLB All-Star Game: The All-Snub Teams

Credit: Getty Images

CBS Sports' Mike Axisa believes Cardinals' reliever Trevor Rosenthal should be an All Star

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by Mike Axisa

CBS Sports

Posted on July 6, 2013 at 8:39 PM

(CBS SPORTS) - Aside from the Final Vote players, the full AL and NL All-Star Game rosters were revealed Saturday evening. As usual, much griping and complaining followed. It's natural, and in some cases it's entirely justified. Some very deserving players were omitted from this year's Midsummer Classic. With those unfortunate players in mind, here are our All-Snub Teams.

Catcher
AL Snub: Carlos Santana, Indians
NL Snub: Russell Martin, Pirates

The number of big-league catchers with a .350+ OBP and 10+ homers this year is two: Santana and NL All-Star Buster Posey. Only All-Star starter Joe Mauer bests Santana's .379 OBP among AL backstops this season. Martin ranks fourth among all catchers with 2.9 WAR and has been arguably the best free agent signing from this past offseason.

First Base
AL Snub: James Loney, Rays
NL Snub: Freddie Freeman, Braves

The first base pickin's are slim right now, so Loney and Freeman get the call almost by default. The former is hitting a very surprising .320/.373/.478 while the latter is at .309/.385/.468, and both have strong defensive reputations. All of the deserving first basemen have already been named to the All-Star game, however.

Second Base
AL Snub: Howie Kendrick, Angels
NL Snub: Chase Utley, Phillies

The AL is chock full of quality second basemen and someone was inevitably going to be squeezed out. That someone was Kendrick, who is hitting .317/.360/.473 for the Halos. A ribcage injury has limited Utley to only 58 games this year, but he still ranks fifth among all second basemen with 2.6 WAR. He is one of the most underrated great players we'll ever see.

Shortstop
AL Snub: Jose Iglesias, Red Sox
NL Snub: Ian Desmond, Nationals

There might be fewer good shortstops in baseball right now than there have been at any point in the last 15 years. Desmond, a Final Vote player, has been outrageously good the last few weeks and ranks second and fourth among all shortstops in homers (15) and WAR (3.0), respectively. Iglesias has played a bunch of third base and spent part of the year in the minors, but the man is hitting .410/.459/.528 in 43 games. Geez.

Third Base
AL Snub: Josh Donaldson, Athletics
NL Snub: Chris Johnson, Braves

The list of AL third base snubs is a long one. If not Donaldson, you could go with Evan Longoria or Adrian Beltre or even Kyle Seager. Plenty of deserving candidates. Donaldson and his 3.8 WAR get the nod from me. Johnson was close to a throw-in in this winter's Justin Upton trade, but he's actually out-hitting the (non-All-Star) outfielder at .332/.376/.474.

Outfield
AL Snubs: Jacoby Ellsbury, Red Sox and Brett Gardner, Yankees
NL Snubs: Yasiel Puig, Dodgers and Shin-Soo Choo, Reds

Puig is an All-Star in my opinion. I know he's been in the big leagues for barely a month, but he's had a huge impact and this game is about stars. Puig is a star and I want to see him play. Choo is hitting .270/.417/.457 and has been one of the very best offseason pickups this year. I'm taking two speed guys for my AL spots because all the power guys have already been elected to the game. Ellsbury and Gardner would make for two dynamite late-inning defensive replacements, if nothing else.

Starting Pitchers
AL Snubs: Derek Holland, Rangers and James Shields, Royals
NL Snubs: Matt Latos, Reds and Stephen Strasburg, Nationals

Holland has (finally) learned how to limit homers and actually ranks fourth among all big-league pitchers at 3.6 WAR. I'm sure that surprised plenty of people. Shields has been stellar for the Royals, but he hasn't gotten the same kind of attention he did with the Rays. Strasburg's 4-6 record means nothing to me; he has been dominant and should be an All-Star in my book. Latos has been excellent as well.

Relief Pitchers
AL Snubs: Drew Smyly, Tigers and Greg Holland, Royals
NL Snubs: Bobby Parnell, Mets and Trevor Rosenthal, Cardinals

There are a ton of relievers having strong years right now, which is par for the course at the All-Star break. Parnell and Rosenthal are two of the best bullpen arms in baseball despite an utter lack of fanfare, and the same goes for Holland. Smyly gives Detroit both quantity (51 innings are second most among relievers) and quality (2.12 ERA).

* * *

Was your favorite team snubbed by the official All-Star rosters? Were they snubbed by my All-Snub Teams? I'm guessing yes, that's just how these things work. There are always more deserving players than roster spots.

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