As of the last update of All-Star ballot rankings, not one Red Sox player will be a starter for the American League at this month’s All-Star game. John Farrell, who was previously selected to manage the American League, could see that none of his players in Boston will be starting at the game if things go wrong for David Ortiz in player voting. As it stands, Ortiz (1,948,211) trails Nelson Cruz (2,944,267) by a sizable amount in voting.
Fans vote to select the nine starters at the game for the American League. Managers will select pitchers and reserve players, and the thirty-fifth roster spot will be voted by the fans in a special write-in ballot. This bodes well for Red Sox pitching, as well as players such as Dustin Pedroia and David Ortiz.
Pedroia (1,477,800), who trails Robinson Cano (2,474,924) in voting for second baseman, could very well be seen in a reserve role in Minnesota this year. Pedroia has had a decline at the plate in 2014 (4/31/.277), will not be starting for the team, but his plethora of web gems could guarantee him a spot on the bench for the American League. Obviously it helps when the man doing the selection process is your Manager.
David Ortiz, (19/52/.248) is a bit more deserved of a spot on the team. Had it not been for Nelson Cruz’s break-out year, Ortiz would have had the Designated Hitter starting role in the bag. With Ortiz’s flair for antics, and his timely hitting, he seems very likely to be a part of the All-Star ceremonies this year. Considering his major-league roots are in Minnesota, having a spot in the annual Home Run Derby almost seems imminent. Most of us need not be reminded of the Red Sox trip to Minnesota this year, where Ortiz was dominant, and collected a handful of home runs.
After the thirty-four starters, pitchers and reserve players will be selected, the “Final Vote” will take place. This is an opportunity for fans to nominate a player for both teams. Some talk has gone in that Brock Holt is a strong candidate for this role. Holt has been one of the best hitters on the Red Sox, and has made electrifying plays in multiple positions in the field. Holt is the only Red Sox player to start more than fifteen games and have an average over .300. In fifty games, Holt is 2/17/.317. Holt has proven to be the only consistent hitter in an otherwise anaemic Red Sox line-up.
Farrell will have the luxury to select his pitching staff for the game. Starters Jon Lester (9-7, 2.92 ERA) and John Lackey (9-5, 3.62 ERA), could squeeze in. Both have an average win-loss record thanks to a lack of run support, but their respective earned-run average numbers give them a chance to see time in the game. Both will have to compete with the likes of Masahiro Tanaka, Yu Darvish, Mark Buehrle and Felix Hernandez; not a simple task for either. Koji Uehara sits tied-fourth in saves for American League closers, and his exciting style of play could help him land a roster spot.
Whatever happens, the game will go down on Tuesday, July 15 at Target Field in Minnesota. If no Red Sox players make the team, at least we know we have John Farrell to find on the courtside.