Giancarlo Stanton may be slipping in the All-Star vote for the 2014 MLB All-Star Game, but the Fish have more than one hope for the All-Star Game this season. Surprisingly, the Marlins' successful early start has bred a few options for All-Star candidates, and here on the Marlins All-Star Power Rankings, we rank our top five options outside of Stanton to make the midseason classic. We tracked our first week last week, but do we have any changes this time around?
1. Steve Cishek, RHP (Last Week: 1)
According to FanGraphs, there are only three relievers worth more than one Win Above Replacement (WAR), and two of them are elite closers likely to make the All-Star Game. It would be heresy not to include Craig Kimbrel in that game, but hardly anyone has been better than Cishek in 2014. His ERA of 1.99 is fourth among relievers with regular closer duties. He is 17-for-18 in save opportunities, his strikeout rate is impressive (ninth among National League relievers) and he is playing for a competitive team.
The only problem is the competition around him is stiff. His 17 saves are only ninth in the NL, and I can count five relievers with higher save totals and something that appeals to the managerial crowd over Cishek. He will be fighting the likes of Kimbrel, Huston Street, Francisco Rodriguez, Jonathan Papelbon, and Rafael Soriano among others for those few relief spots. That does not even consider some of the non-closers who could get consideration, like Pittsburgh's Tony Watson. Even if has outplayed almost all of them, Cishek might feel the squeeze this season.
Chances of Selection: 80 percent
2. Henderson Alvarez, RHP (LW: 2)
Alvarez is in the top 10 in FanGraphs WAR among National League starters, and he happens to be fourth in the league in ERA. The latter gives him a lot of legitimacy heading into a potential All-Star bid. The three complete-game shutouts he has thrown this year also have to help his cause; no National Leaguer has thrown more than two shutouts except for Alvarez.
In his last outing, he upped his strikeouts a bit by whiffing five in 6 1/3 innings, but more importantly, he continued to decrease his ERA and work towards the league lead. The competition for the starting pitcher spots in the National League is harsh, with as many as 14 legitimate contenders for those spots. But if Alvarez ends the half-season third or second in ERA after a few more good starts, it would almost be impossible to deny him, even with a mediocre win-loss record.
Chances of Selection: 35 percent
3. Casey McGehee, 3B (LW: 3)
McGehee's situation remains at a standstill from last week. Aramis Ramirez has overtaken the third base lead in the All-Star voting, but that only knocks out otherwise less worthy candidates like David Wright or Pablo Sandoval. The other third baseman is almost certainly going to come from the trio of Todd Frazier, Matt Carpenter, or Anthony Rendon. Then again, McGehee still leads all third basemen in batting average and RBIs, which is a huge boon to traditional manager voting. I'd say this week was a push for him, but the odds are still small that he sneaks in as the backup, especially if a more deserving player doesn't take the the voting lead.
Chances of Selection: 5 percent
4. Nathan Eovaldi, RHP (LW: 4)
Eovaldi's strikeout free-fall continues, but he helped his cause by pitching six innings of shutout baseball recently against the Philadelphia Phillies. He will need a few more outings like this, however, in order to get his ERA in line with his strong 3.24 FIP and make him a more appreciable candidate. Right now, the odds of him being selected are extremely low.
Chances of Selection: <1 percent
5. Marcell Ozuna, OF (LW: 5)
Ozuna's defensive prowess was certainly noted this week.
Sadly, I don't think those two brilliant plays were enough to make up for an ugly week at the plate for Ozuna. His .167/.231/.167 line from this week ate into his offensive contributions, and while he is still a fantastic defender, I am not sure that managers and fellow players are going to give him that much credit. There are too many good outfielders to pass for Ozuna to make this game. He is in the same boat as Eovaldi: good this season, but not All-Star good.
Chances of Selection: <1 percent