Monday, July 7, 2014
For Now, Jon Lester is the Only Red Sox Going to the 2014 MLB All-Star Game
I think the best way to sum up Boston's miserable first half was revealed tonight as they only have one player-Jon Lester-headed to Minnesota next week for the 2014 MLB All-Star Game. It is almost impossible to have it like that since the Red Sox are coming off a World Series title, in a big market with multiple superstars and don't forget that manager John Farrell is in charge of the American League.
Whatever his motivation-playing for a new beefy contract is the easy theory-Lester has been great from Opening Day: 9-7 in 18 starts, 122 innings, 122 strikeouts/29 walks, 1.15 WHIP, .242 BAA (batting average against) and 2.73 ERA.
There are always injury replacements since the game is still more than a week away (next Tuesday) so stay tuned on that front. Boston has one player who is regarded as the first alternate-Koji Uehara (4-2, 18 saves, 52 strikeouts/6 walks, 0.74 WHIP and 1.30 ERA)-as far as pitchers go. Him and Lester have been the only two guys on the Red Sox to maintain or even improve their performance level from 2013. It's easy to see him getting moved in the next few weeks should Boston continue to sink like a stone in the AL (they have the exact same record as the Mets and Padres).
Apparently David Ortiz (19 home runs, 55 RBIs, .261 AVG, .361 OBP, .494 SLG) turned down a chance to join the AL team in favor of Farrell taking younger DHs having better seasons (Nelson Cruz, Victor Martinez and Edwin Encarnacion although he's hurt) than him. That makes for a nice story, oh look how unselfish Big Papi is being, but the truth is that he probably just wants an extra break after this rocky first half.
Dustin Pedroia (4 home runs, 32 RBIs, .284, .354 OBP, .387 SLG) has heated up lately but he hasn't played like himself for most of the first half. Therefore his spot isn't automatic every year since there are some good second baseman in the AL (Robinson Cano and Jose Altuve) and thankfully the fans realized this.
There isn't even a Red Sox in the running for the final spot in the AL, five players from other teams will do the honors. I'm guessing the home field advantage for the World Series won't play quite as big a role for this edition of Boston compared to last season. With four days off in a row next week, you have to believe that GM Ben Cherington begins to blow this awful team up. Otherwise, what are they doing here?
UPDATE 7/9: Red Sox designated A.J. Pierzynski for assignment today (yes!) and called up Christian Vazquez who is making his MLB debut. Also, Yankees ace Masahiro Tanaka went on the DL with an elbow injury so Uehara is going to the All-Star Game after all. That's cool and well deserved for him, especially since he's never been before.