At 35-48, the Miami Marlins have a pair of representatives in the 2015 MLB All-Star Game in Cincinnati. While Dee Gordon and Giancarlo Stanton were voted on to start, Adeiny Hechavarria and A.J. Ramos had a chance to be reserves. But that did not happen for the Marlins.
Gordon has posted a .343/.364/.423 batting line to complement one (inside the park) home run and 21 RBIs while also stealing 29 bases. Stanton was batting .265/.346/.606 to complement 27 home runs and 67 RBIs through just 74 contests before going down with an injury. Both deserve to represent the club. However, Hechavarria and Ramos could have been considered.
After showing signs of offensive improvement in 2014, Hechavarria has proven he can have success where-ever he is placed in the Marlins' lineup this season. Through 80 games, Miami's starting shortstop has posted a .288/.325/.390 line to complement four home runs and 33 RBIs. He continues to prove he is a plus infielder defensively but might have been overlooked because of the number of top shortstops in the National League.
Jhonny Peralta will make the start in the annual mid-summer classic. Brandon Crawford was selected to be a reserve. Troy Tulowitzki is usually involved in the shortstop conversation. Even if Hechavarria's offensive and defensive numbers are comparable to those of Peralta or Crawford, his status as a promising infield prospect alters the general perception. He has the second best WAR among National League shortstops and has helped the Marlins significantly. Another solid year and he might make the squad in 2016.
While Hechavarria was likely not given an opportunity because of the league's shortstop depth, it is challenging for relievers to make the All-Star team. Clayton Kershaw, who could still be voted in, would not be an All-Star if the contest was held tomorrow. Top starting pitchers take most of the roster spots reserved for pitchers. Dominant closers tend to be called upon.
Trevor Rosenthal, Mark Melancon, Francisco Rodriguez, Jonathan Papelbon, and Aroldis Chapman have all pitched well. But so has Ramos. Ramos became the Marlins' closer after Steve Cishek initially struggled and responded, pitching to a 1.19 ERA and 1.86 FIP over 37.2 innings. He has saved 13 contests but has not received consistent opportunities. Ramos has had command issues in the past but has thrived in 2015. The Marlins are taking notice but the rest of the league may not be.
The Marlins are 13 games under five hundred, and considering their record, some might say the fact they will be represented by a pair of starters is notable. But both Hechavarria and Ramos have played well this season and deserved an opportunity to represent the Marlins too.