Today marks the Marlins last (scheduled) off-day before the All-Star break (the All-Star game isn't until July 12th). So that got me thinking...
If you could pick one, and only one, Marlin to represent the club in this year's All-Star game, who would you pick? Sure, I'll give you that the Marlins are likely more than one representative at this year's game in Detroit. But of all those who are deserving, who is the most deserving?
Here are some of the candidates (in no particular order), and their credentials:
- Dontrelle Willis: leads the league in wins with 11 (wins count in this All-Star selection hoo-ha). He also has an ERA of 1.92. 'Trelle is also not bad with the stick.
- Brian Moehler: His 2-4 record doesn't do justice to his 2.70 ERA. Big Moe has become the best 5th starter in the majors, and BP would tell you that his VORP is 12th best in the NL (good enough to be the ace on some teams), and 2nd only to Dontrelle Willis on the Marlins.
- Todd Jones: 12 saves and a 1.50 ERA. Who would have guessed? Plus, he writes for pretty much every paper/magazine in America.
- Josh Beckett: Recent blister problems aside, this has been a very solid campaign for Beckett. The current injury doesn't seem to be too serious (he threw on the side yesterday), so he should easily eclipse his career high of 9 wins this season (he has 7 so far).
- A.J. Burnett: It could be his last chance to play in the All-Star game as a Marlin. With Dontrelle likely to accumulate enough service time to be eligible for arbitration, the Marlins' rotation will cost that much more next year. A.J., who will be a free agent at season's end, could be left out of the plans. His ERA is in the low 3s and he's striking out a man per inning.
- Alois Leiter: Hey, someone has to throw B.P. before the game.
- Carlos Delgado: Derrek Lee and Albert Pujols play a brand of baseball that only Barry Bonds knows otherwise. After them, Delgado is the cream of the crop.
- Miguel Cabrera: It's probably about time to pencil him in as an all-star starter for the next decade or so.
- Luis Castillo: If you asked him to reach for something off of your top shelf, Luis probably couldn't help you. But he guts it out every night, through some hip and leg injuries, and hasn't lost anything. It's arguably his best year at the plate and in the field, he's still a gold-glover.
- Alex Gonzalez: It's not the contract year he'd hoped for, but there's not a lot of depth in the NL at short. Garciaparra and Barmes are down with injuries. David Eckstein is probably leading the pack.
- Paul LoDuca: After a great start, LoDuca has cooled off (he's also been pretty beaten up). Comparing him to other catchers though, he's still at the top of the class. Paul is 4th amongst NL catchers in VORP.
If I could only pick one Marlin to be on the All-Star team, I'd go with Brian Moehler. Big Moe wasn't even in the majors last season. Not at all. In Spring Training there wasn't even a role for him on this club. At the start of the season, we all thought he'd start a few games and then Valdez would come back to take his place. Now Moehler is a guy that the Marlins will count on if they're going to make a run at the playoffs.
Somehow, Moehler has found himself and has been one of the best pitchers in the National League throughout the first half of the year. Despite my man-crush on Dontrelle Willis (who's already been selected to one All-Star team), I have to give the nod to Moehler here (if I could only have one guy). He's really earned it, and it would be great to see him on the hill in Detroit on July 12th. Moehler debuted in the bigs with Detroit and pitched there for 7 seasons.
Who would you pick? Pick your player and make a case for him below. You can only pick one (no top 3s or anything like that). Also, feel free to pick someone who is not on the list above.