Here are the NL All Stars, and a few snubs as well…
C – Yadier Molina, Cardinals
As much as I love Yadi, he’s not been very good this year. I’d go with Miguel Olivo, who’s had a much better season than everyone expected.
1B – Albert Pujols, Cardinals
No doubt on this one. Even when he struggles, he’s one of the best players in the game.
2B – Chase Utley, Phillies (Injured)
I’d have gone Utley as well, at least until the surgery. I think Prado is the best replacement for him too.
3B – David Wright, Mets
I’d say he’s having a bounce back season. He’s playing well and deserves the start.
SS – Hanley Ramirez, Marlins
Again, there was no real doubt here. Hanley is the top SS in the game right now.
OF – Ryan Bruan (Brewers), Jason Heyward (Braves), Andre Ethier (Dodgers)
I agree with Braun and Ethier, but question Heyward starting. He’s had a good season, but he’s far from one of the 3 best NL outfielders. My other pick would probably be Corey Hart, since he’s crushing the ball right now.
Reserves – Brian McCann (Braves), Adrian Gonzalez (Padres), Ryan Howard (Phillies), Martin Prado (Braves – Replaces Utley), Omar Infante (Braves), Brandon Phillips (Reds), Troy Tulowitzki (Rockies – Injured), Jose Reyes (Mets – Replacing Tulowitzki), Scott Rolen (Reds), Michael Bourn (Astros), Marlon Byrd (Cubs), Corey Hart (Brewers), Matt Holliday (Cardinals), Chris Young (Diamondbacks)
Adrian Gonzalez has been having a down year, so I’d replace him with Joey Votto, who’s been far superior…Howard is borderline; you could argue for Adam Dunn or Mark Reynolds in his spot. They are pretty much the same player…Omar Infante is a puzzling pick; he’s a part time player. Wouldn’t Rickie Weeks be a better selection? He’s had a decent season and is more deserving…Young and Bourn are questionable, but they are the best players on their teams; they stay. Matt Holliday has had a pretty disappointing season and should be replaced by teammate Colby Rasmus; Rasmus has been a pretty constant player this season…I’d take Josh Willingham over Heyward for the final spot here. Willingham is 5th in on base percentage right now.
SP – Chris Carpenter (Cardinals), Yovani Gallardo (Brewers), Roy Halladay (Phillies), Tim Hudson (Braves), Ubaldo Jimenez (Rockies), Josh Johnson (Marlins), Tim Lincecum (Giants), Adam Wainwright (Cardinals)
My only gripe is Stephen Strasburg; yes, he’s only made 5 starts, but he’s looked awesome. I’d replace Hudson with him for a couple of reasons:
1. Strasburg will get ratings. If you are a casual fan, would you stick around for the later innings to see Strasburg or Hudson?
2. With Strasburg seeing only a couple of teams, wouldn’t he give you the best shot of winning over a guy that’s played in the AL and faced most of the hitters? Remember, this game means home field advantage for the World Series.
If you passed on Hudson and Strasburg, I’d have to go with either Mike Pelfrey or Jaime Garcia.
RP – Jonathan Broxton (Dodgers), Matt Capps (Nationals), Evan Meeks (Pirates), Arthur Rhodes (Reds), Brian Wilson (Giants)
Heath Bell has been lights out this year; he’s replace Arthur Rhodes…If the Pirates had anyone else, I’d replace Meeks. I’d like to see Billy Wagner get another all star appearance before he retires.