The early returns are in and Houston Astros catcher Robinson Chirinos is near the top among catchers in the voting. Could he get his first All-Star nod?
Houston Astros fans — it’s almost time for the MLB Midsummer Classic and there’s plenty to proud about knowing that this team is well represented so far in the early returns. But honestly, did you expect anything less?
This team is primed to win the World Series once again and I think it’s going to be difficult for any team in the MLB to stop their breakneck momentum toward being among the elite of the competition. It makes me extremely proud to see how far this team has come from being the laughingstock of professional baseball nearly a half a decade ago to being one of the most respected franchises in sports today.
It’s a testament to this organization’s commitment to winning and doing what it takes to ensure that it’s done. It all starts at the top as well with general manager Jeff Luhnow and his savvy staff coupled with team president Reid Ryan’s innate ability to ensure this franchise remains respectable and that the fan experience remains second to none.
We had wondered if Jim Crane was going to ever spend the money needed to get the talent to get to the mountaintop, especially after he bought the team back in mid-2011. He has done so and then some. Which is evident in Justin Verlander‘s record-breaking two-year, $66 million contract extension that he signed this past offseason.
This is literally a worst-to-first story and now the team has seven finalists to have the opportunity to play in the All-Star Game.
It’s important to note that Chirinos is named among that group. He signed a one-year, $5.75 million contract that is looking like a tremendous bargain, considering the year that he’s having.
For the first time in his career, he may have the opportunity to be an MLB All-Star for his appreciated contributions to the Houston Astros.
I know it’s a turning point for him in his career as he’s living his dream, playing the game he loves as he had an opportunity to leave his native country of Venezuela to fulfill the aforementioned.
I’m sure that’s one of the goals in his career to earn such a distinction and he has a terrific opportunity to do so.
The early returns indicate that Chirinos is third in votes (946,823) behind James McCann
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(1,085,254) and Gary Sanchez (2,226,469) but with him being only 138,431 votes behind McCann, he’s got an excellent shot at jumping him. We know he won’t catch Sanchez but if this Houston Astros wave of voting continues, this may be a reality for Chirinos as a reserve.
The reserves are selected based off of votes from the players, managers and the fans combined so if the right mix is put together, he could be in there. I really like this guy’s chances.
I was skeptical of the move to sign him at first but I was wrong, he has been tremendous at and behind the plate this season and the Houston Astros are a better team because of him and the fact that he’s doing so well in the voting is certainly a testament to his dedication.
He’s 10th among position players in WAR (2.8), 5th in defensive WAR (1.0), first in putouts (544), 5th in assists (23) and first in range factor/game (10.13) as catcher among his brethren.
I hope what I’ve proposed happens — so we’ll have to monitor how things are going!
Let’s go Houston Astros!
Chirinos is batting .238/.368/.497 with a .865 OPS along with 12 homers and 38 ribbies through 57 games and 181 at-bats this season, one of his best performances on record.