The Miami Marlins only had one representative to the 2014 MLB All-Star Game, as Giancarlo Stanton was voted by the players as the team's lone representation at the Midsummer Classic. This is after weeks in which the team had a legitimate shot at up to three or four players to make the team. Even in the one player who did make it, there felt like a "snub" of some sorts in that Stanton was not voted by the fans as a starter and instead was brought in as a "reserve,' though it is likely he will start as the designated hitter along with fulfilling a fun role in the Home Run Derby the night before.
But before Marlins fans get up in arms about this snub situation, let's look at each spot and see why this happened.
Stanton: Outfield Glut
Marlins fans may be first at fault for this problem. The primary reason why Stanton is not the team's starter in the outfield is that he did not get enough votes to beat out Andrew McCutchen, Yasiel Puig, and Carlos Gomez in the voting. I am sure many folks who are reading this put in the votes for Stanton, but as a group we fell short of providing him our support. Combine that with the low level of interest in Marlins baseball nationally and you get a recipe for being placed on the bench.
But if you look at those three other outfielders, it is not as though they are undeserving.
This is not a situation in which Stanton was beat out by three clearly worse players. Of the three who won out on votes, Puig is probably the least deserving, but how can you really differentiate? We are talking about differences in wins of half a win. We cannot significantly differentiate between the greatness of these guys. They were all deserving candidates.
And Stanton is playing a bigger role in the All-Star weekend than is being let on. He will likely start the game at DH given that he is the team's best bench player, so it is not as though you will miss out on two potentially #MONSTERDONG Stanton plate appearances. And he is going to be a highlight, or perhaps the highlight, of the Home Run Derby. Stanton will get plenty of coverage and no disrespect come the All-Star break.
Alvarez: Relievers and Starters Everywhere
Henderson Alvarez suffered the same fate; there were just too many guys who were deserving candidates at the starting pitcher spot. Eight starting pitchers were selected to the game. It was a guarantee heading into tonight that Clayton Kershaw, Adam Wainwright, Zack Greinke, and Johnny Cueto were going to make it on a combination of ERA and (ugh) pitcher wins. That covers four spots immediately. Tyson Ross was chosen as the San Diego Padres' lone representative, and Ross has not exactly been terrible, though he hasn't been as good as more deserving choices above him.
That is five spots spoken for. Madison Bumgarner, Julio Teheran, and Jordan Zimmermann took the last three spots. Zimmermann appeared set to make it; he is third in FanGraphs Wins Above Replacement (fWAR) this season among NL starting pitchers. Bumgarner sits seventh on that list. Teheran is fifth.
Alvarez is almost undoubtedly next on the list of potential starting pitchers. I discussed in our last Power Rankings that Alvarez and Teheran are neck-and-neck in terms of numbers, and with this last start, Alvarez's ERA has dropped below Teheran's. But the three players who got selections instead of Alvarez were fair choices.
Cishek: Middle Relief and Final Week Woes
Steve Cishek and Alvarez both got squeezed for more or less the same reason: middle relievers got their heyday. Two middle relievers were selected for the game. Pat Neshek and Tony Watson made the game despite not picking up saves in the ninth inning. For the record, I'm more than OK with that, but it also made it difficult for Cishek to compete with the other closers on the roster. All three closers selected either had more saves, a better ERA, or both, so it was understandable to see Cishek squeezed of a spot.
The only real shame is that he likely would have made it without the last few appearances he made. He gave up six runs in his last five appearances, including four against the Oakland Athletics and two more against the Philadelphia Phillies in last week's series. He may have been able to overcome the A's outing, but his work against Philly pumped up his ERA just enough to make it not attractive.
McGehee: The Final Vote
The Marlins do have one chance to get another All-Star on the ballot, as Casey McGehee is up for the Final Vote among four other worthy contenders. McGehee faces Justin Morneau, Anthony Rizzo, Anthony Rendon, and Justin Upton in the final vote. It is a shame that at least Alvarez was not able to make this tally as well, as he probably just missed the All-Star roster
Admittedly, McGehee is probably on the weaker half of the candidates noted here. Rendon has been a better hitter and defender at both McGehee's position and another position, Rizzo is the best hitter of the five, and Upton is not far behind. McGehee is still probably a better choice than Morneau, whose numbers are inflated by Coors Field.
Still, McGehee might face an uphill climb, but he deserves your votes! He's our best chance to get another player in the All-Star Game, so fans should get out and vote now!