Houston Astros: Will we have an All-Star Starter?
Is the voting system for the MLB’s All-Star Game keeping us fans from having one of our beloved players represent as a starter? It’s that time of the year again and that question becomes awfully relevant as it really hits home. The Houston Astros are winners of seven of their last 10 games and have been exciting to watch to say the least.
Many Astros fans have taken to Twitter lately to try and push the vote for Astros players who have been phenomenal this season. Fans seem to hold a consensus on three Astros players who are deserving of the All-Star game this season taking place at Target Field in Minneapolis.
The three players Astros fans would like to see in the MLB All-Star game are: 2nd baseman Jose Altuve, right fielder George Springer, and starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel. But can any of these three players be All-Star game starters? My guess is sadly a no.
The player most deserving of being a 2014 MLB All-Star game starter is 2nd baseman Jose Altuve. The 5’6″ Venezuelan native play this season has been nothing short of fantastic which is now our expectation. Altuve is hitting .319 this season with a .361 On Base Percentage (OBP), two home runs and 22 RBI’s. Altuve leads the MLB in hits with 90 on the season and is ranked 2nd in the league with 24 steals. Altuve has the numbers and amazing play to be the American League starting 2nd baseman but trails the current leader — Mariners’ 2nd baseman Robinson Cano by about 719,000 votes.
Altuve is currently trailing at 5th at the AL 2nd baseman All-Star game voting behind the home town candidate Brian Dozier (.243 BA/14 SB/33 RBI), the Red Sox’s Dustin Pedroia (.268 BA/2 SB/23 RBI), the Tigers’ Ian Kinsler ( .279 BA/6 SB/28 RBI), and leader Robinson Cano (.328 BA/5 SB/35 RBI).
Many fans, including myself, have been pushing George Springer as a write-in candidate, whose energy and enthusiasm has helped recharge Astros baseball. Springer won’t catch the likes of top voter choices like Mike Trout and Jose Bautista, but Springer could be a manager selection or a final vote participant. Springer this season is hitting .259 with 12 home runs and 36 ribbies.
Moving forward, when pitcher Dallas Keuchel steps onto the mound, many fans breathe easy because Keuchel has been money all season for the Astros. Keuchel holds eight wins on the season with a 2.38 ERA in 90 and 2/3 innings and has struckout 75 this season. Keuchel’s command and ability to make hitters swing-and-miss has been an unbelievable turnaround from his last two seasons with the Astros in which Keuchel held an ERA over five.
Keuchel is currently 2nd in AL for Wins Above Replacement (WAR) amongst pitchers and position players. He sits in the Top 10 in the AL categories of: WHIP, ERA, Wins, Complete Games and Shutouts.
Fans will have to wait to see if Keuchel can make a push for the All-Star Game as the players will select five starters and three relievers. Some in the league have called Keuchel average, but we know he has been nothing short of great for the Astros.
It’s been long discussed that MLB All-Star game fan voting hurts teams who have exceptional players having career seasons. This current Astros’ roster doesn’t have the draw or allure they once had and the common fan still holds the misconception that the Astros are the worst team in the league.
And that’s why I feel the voting system is flawed.
That same average fan is going to overlook Jose Altuve because he wears an Astros jersey and select a player like Robinson Cano or Dustin Pedroia, that said same fan is not likely to write in George Springer. So is leaving the starting lineup vote to fans hurting the Astros? I’d have to say, YES IT IS!
I think that Jose Altuve holds the best chance to be an All-Star Game starter and while Robinson Cano is some stiff competition, Altuve has proven to fans and the league that he is an elite player this season.
As loyal fans all we can do is continue to vote for our guys the maximum amount of allowed times, I know I already have!
Vote for your favorite Houston Astros here!