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Here's who should be in the 2015 MLB All Star Game

With starters set to be announced Sunday and the rest of the rosters Monday, here's my stab on who should be playing in Cincinnati next month.

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

One of the reasons interleague play should be abolished and thrown into the nearest and deepest accessible sea is what it's done to the nostalgia of the MLB All Star Game.

Before interleague play came along, the only time you could see National League players take on American League players was in the World Series and the Midsummer Classic. There was something cool about watching Roger Clemens try to strike out Mike Schmidt, or watching George Brett try to go deep against Dwight Gooden.

Now, you see NL and AL teams play against each other all the time and it's hurt the nostalgia of the game. That being said, it's an event I never miss, and this year will be no exception.

As you know, the fans are voting for the All Star starters, and there's a good chance the AL starting lineup will look as if the Kansas City Royals have vomited all over the page. But for the sake of this exercise, I'm going to pick who SHOULD be in the starting lineup, and then fill out the rest of the roster, keeping true to the rule that every team must have at least one representative at the game.


1B - Paul Goldschmidt - Arizona Diamondbacks

2B - Dee Gordon - Miami Marlins

SS - Brandon Crawford - San Francisco Giants

3B - Nolan Arenado - Colorado Rockies

OF - Bryce Harper - Washington Nationals

OF - Joc Pederson - Los Angeles Dodgers

OF - Andrew McCutchen - Pittsburgh Pirates

C - Buster Posey - San Francisco Giants

DH - Todd Frazier - Cincinnati Reds

SP - Max Scherzer - Washington Nationals

Thank goodness for the designated hitter rule, because it would have been a tough call between Arenado and Frazier at third base. Arenado gets the start at third because of his superior defense, while Frazier's 25 homers rank him second behind Stanton in the NL, putting him as the DH.

Poor Giancarlo Stanton. He would have been a shoo-in starter had he not broken his hand. But being out 4-6 weeks means he'll almost certainly miss the game.

And the starting pitcher is obviously going to be Scherzer, who has won the Pitcher of the Month Award back-to-back, in May and June. Sorry Gerrit Cole. Maybe next year.


1B - Anthony Rizzo - Chicago Cubs

1B - Joey Votto - Cincinatti Reds

2B - Joe Panik - San Francisco Giants

SS - Jhonny Peralta - St. Louis Cardinals

3B - Kris Bryant - Chicago Cubs

3B - Maikel Franco - Philadelphia Phillies

OF - Charlie Blackmon - Colorado Rockies

OF - Jason Heyward - St. Louis Cardinals

OF - Justin Upton - San Diego Padres

OF - Starling Marte - Pittsburgh Pirates

C - Yasmani Grandal - Los Angeles Dodgers

C - Derek Norris - San Diego Padres

I really wanted to figure out a way to get Maikel Franco into this thing, but the other options out there were simply too good, and I didn't need him as the lone Phillies representative. And frankly, there weren't a lot of opportunities for snubs here.

OK, one of the commenters below changed my mind for me. I'm not ashamed to admit it. Since I only carried one back-up catcher on the AL roster, I decided to do the same on the NL roster so that I could get Maikel Franco into this game. I feel much better now.

Perhaps the biggest omission is the Dodgers' Adrian Gonzalez, but I figured three first basemen was plenty and I really wanted to get Bryant into the game if at all possible. Mission accomplished.


SP - Gerrit Cole - Pittsburgh Pirates

SP - Clayton Kershaw - Los Angeles Dodgers

SP - Jake Arrieta - Chicago Cubs

SP - A.J. Burnett - Pittsburgh Pirates

SP - Zack Greinke - Los Angeles Dodgers

SP - Madison Bumgarner - San Francisco Giants

SP - Johnny Cueto - Cincinnati Reds

SP - Jacob deGrom - New York Mets

SP - Cole Hamels - Philadelphia Phillies

RP - Aroldis Chapman - Cincinnati Reds

RP -Trevor Rosenthal - St. Louis Cardinals

RP - Jason Grilli - Atlanta Braves

RP - Francisco Rodriguez - Milwaukee Brewers

Look, I didn't want to leave Jonathan Papelbon off the NL roster, but I simply had no choice. I had to put Hamels on the team, even though there's a good chance he may not even be a Phillie by the time the game rolls around. How fun!

I also had to go with one more pitcher than I would have liked in order to add Francisco Rodriguez, the last man on my roster. Milwaukee has no hitters worthy of inclusion, but I didn't want to bump any of the existing pitchers already there, so I got rid of Arizona's A.J. Pollock from the position player list, my last position player on the roster.


1B - Miguel Cabrera - Detroit Tigers

2B - Jason Kipnis - Cleveland Indians

SS - Carlos Correa - Houston Astros

3B - Josh Donaldson - Toronto Blue Jays

OF - Mike Trout - Los Angeles Angels

OF - Jose Bautista - Toronto Blue Jays

OF - Lorenzo Cain - Kansas City Royals

C - Russell Martin - Toronto Blue Jays

DH - Nelson Cruz - Seattle Mariners

SP - Chris Sale - Chicago White Sox

He's not going to get in as a starter because he was only called up a few weeks ago, but Carlos Correa is already the best shortstop in the American League, and by the end of the season could have double the fWAR of the next closest shortstop. He's that good.

Russell gets the nod at catcher over Stephen Vogt. Both are outstanding offensively, but Russell is just a smidgen better defensively. That was a close call, though.

And the outfield was tough because so many of the top guys in the fWAR leaderboards are there because of their defense. And while defense is important, it's a freaking All Star Game and I want to see the bats. Albert Pujols deserved consideration at first base, but Cabrera is just an overall superior player.

As for the AL starter, there are a lot of worthy candidates, but Sale has been straight-up ridiculous lately. He was the AL Pitcher of the Month for June and has gone eight straight games with at least 10 strikeouts. Apologies to Chris Archer, Sonny Gray and Dallas Keuchel.


1B - Albert Pujols - Los Angeles Angels

1B - Prince Fielder - Texas Rangers

2B - Brian Dozier - Minnesota Twins

2B - Jose Altuve - Houston Astros

3B - Manny Machado - Baltimore Orioles

OF - Brett Gardner - New York Yankees

OF - J.D. Martinez - Detroit Tigers

OF - Alex Gordon - Kansas City Royals

OF - Josh Reddick - Oakland Athletics

OF - Mookie Betts - Boston Red Sox

C - Stephen Vogt - Oakland Athletics

DH - Alex Rodriguez - New York Yankees

Poor George Springer, who would have been on this list with a wRC+ of 133 and 13 HRs, but will miss the game, and the next two months, with a broken hand. Maybe he and Giancarlo can get together and watch the game at a Buffalo Wild Wings or something.

Yes, I know. A-Rod. He's in. I just want to see how MLB is going to handle it more than anything else. Unfortunately, he bounced my first man out, Mark Teixeira.

No, I'm not going to put another shortstop on the roster. Yes, Jose Iglesias has had a nice season (.324/.378/.387, wRC+ 116), but I needed to find space for the lone Boston player on the ballot, Mookie Betts, and the sole Rangers player on the team, Prince Fielder.

And there was a part of me that wanted to spite all Royals players and keep them out just to get back at their ballot box-stuffing fans, but in truth, many of their players are extremely good and deserve to be there.


SP - Chris Archer - Tampa Bay Rays

SP - Sonny Gray - Oakland Athletics

SP - Dallas Keuchel - Houston Astros

SP - David Price - Detroit Tigers

SP - Felix Hernandez - Seattle Mariners

SP - Michael Pineda - New York Yankees

SP - Corey Kluber - Cleveland Indians

RP - Dellin Betances - New York Yankees

RP - Cody Allen - Cleveland Indians

RP - Zach Britton - Baltimore Orioles

RP - Andrew Miller - New York Yankees

RP - Wade Davis - Kansas City Royals

Thankfully, I think we're past the point where the only relief pitchers who are allowed in the game are closers. New York's Betances and Kansas City's Davis absolutely had to be on the team, they're simply too dominant. Plus, the All-Star Game also has 7th and 8th innings the last time I checked, so they'll work out fine.

Archer, Gray and Keuchel are among the most exciting young starters in the American League, and it's going to be a lot of fun watching them pitch. You add in last year's Cy Young Award winner (Kluber), Seattle's Rodriguez and the Yankees' Pineda, and you're likely to see a lot of strikeouts from the AL staff.

So gang, that's it. I'm sure you'll have some disagreements with me here on this, but that's what the All Star Game is all about, bitching and moaning about someone's arbitrary selections for a scrimmage game that determines home field advantage in the World Series.

Fire away.