Rolen, Phillips, and Rhodes. No Votto. Votto is clearly one of the top 5 candidates for the MVP if the season ended today. For him to not be on a 33-man N.L. All-Star roster is an embarassment to baseball.
First, congrats to Rolen, Phillips, and Rhodes. This is Rhodes first all-star game at age forty. I thought when he lost his scoreless streak last week that he would not make it. Not very many middle relievers do. But he did and he deserved it.
Phillips is having a great year, especially since he's moved out of the clean-up spot (a move this blog had been pushing since last season). But Chase Utley's starting spot (he's hurt) will probably go to Martin Prado, who's leading the league in hitting.
Rolen is back! What else can you say? Great move by Jockety, both in trading for him and locking him up long-term in spite of health questions.
On to Votto. There are some injuries (guys like Utley and Tulowitzki -- that's probably why Omar Infante made the team) and Votto will likely be the first choice to replace injured guys. Plus, he did make the list of the final five guys for the fans to vote on the last spot. Strasberg did not make that list, so Votto should win and ultimately make the team. But wow! I actually said to Rachel yesterday that Votto strikes me as the type of guy that might rather stay at home. But let's analyze this anyway.
First, I have no issue with Pujols being the starter. I'm not one of these guys that insists that the "all-star" is the guy with the best first-half stats. I'm absolutely okay with voting in a guy like Pujols, even if his numbers weren't typically awesome, which they are.
Second, Adrian Gonzalez made the team as the only Padre. I'm okay with that, too. I love the rule that every team has to be represented. The national guys don't like it, but I do. Every fan should be represented at the game. But the Padres lead the league in pitching and don't have a single pitcher on the team. The Padre definitley could have been a pitcher, but I can't argue with Gonzalez making the team.
Finally, and here's the main problem, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel chose Ryan Howard. Howard is having a decent year, but not close to Votto's. Howard has a batting line of .296/.353/.506, with 15 home runs, 58 rbi's, and 52 runs. Votto's is .313/.414/.574, with 19 home runs, 57 rbi's, and 53 runs. He also has 7 steals. Howard has legitimate all-star stats, but there is no argument that he should make the team over Votto. Manuel should be ashamed.