- All Stars -- I know that many wanted to see Strasburg make the NL team - and he might yet be an injury sub - but I don't think it was a big deal that he was left off. In fact, I think there are a number of more deserving young pitchers that have earned a spot ahead of him. Jaime Garcia, Matt Latos and Tyler Clippard all deserve to be there.
- I know that Ubaldo Jimenez is the choice of most to start for the NL, but I think Josh Johnson has been the better starter. Of course, hard to argue with 15 wins.
- Felt like 1999 again on Wednesday, as a record number of HRs were hit. Remember when it was like this EVERY night?
- We almost saw a near perfect game last night (Saturday) as Reds rookie Tim Wood carried the Perfecto all the way until the bottom of the 9th. While he was more hittable, Roy Halladay matched Wood with zeroes all the way, and the Phillied ended up prevailing in extra innings. I really felt bad for Wood -- as you almost feel like this is a game that could end up having a negative effect in the long run, because he almost certainly feels like he let his team down in the end.
- Wood is just the latest rookie to have an impressive night. Rookies have been the big story this year, and I can't remember a year that has been dominated by youngsters like 2010 has. Here is a quick rundown of what a rookie All Star team might look like. Don't think this would be a bad team at all....
- Catcher - Carlos Santana - CLE - Only hitting .425 through 29 games. Buster Posey could back him up. You lose some on offense with him....he's only hitting .389 through 38 games.
- First Base - Ike Davis - NYM - The guy that Mets brass wanted to shield from being viewed as the savior of the club keyed the team's turnaround by hitting .337 with 11 HR and 40 RBI in his first 75 games.
- Second Base - Scott Sizemore - DET or Neil Walker - PIT - Weaker position for the rookie class, but both of these guys have serious potential and are hitting at or near .300.
- Third Base - David Freese - STL - OK, giving the nod to my team over the more hyped Pedro Alvarez. But Freese earns it, checking in hitting .361 with 4 HR and 36 RBI.
- Shortstop - Starlin Castro - CHC - He's been a brighter spot for a struggling Cubs squad, and drove in 6 runs in his debut. He has struggled a bit after his first night, but he's only 20.
- Outfielders - Jason Heyward - ATL, Tyler Colvin - CHC, Brennan Boesch - DET - Heyward is the most known of the trio, but Colvin has played his way into regular playing time in recent weeks. Boesch has the best stats of the three with a .397 average, 12 HR and 49 RBI.
- Starters - Jaime Garcia - STL, Mike Leake - CIN, Stephen Strasburg - WAS. Garcia has been as dependable as any starter for the Cardinals, and has stepped up with 8 wins after injuries to Kyle Loshe and Brad Penny. Leake make the Reds opening day roster bypassing the minors completely and has already racked up 109.2 innings and 6 wins. Strasburg, of course, is THE guy we were all waiting for, and he has not disappointed. While I'll continue to make the case that others are more deserving of All Star spots, there is no denying that Strasburg has lived up to the hype through his first several starts and looks like he could turn out to be a once in a lifetime type of player.
- Relievers - Neftali Perez - TEX - Perez has 23 saves for the first place Rangers. When baseball Pundits spoke of him early on, you hear the classic phrase "...his stuff is nasty."
Now we head into the All Star Break....the Home Run derby is on tap for tomorrow night -- an event that really isn't as exciting as it used to be, and something promises to give us several more hours of Chris Berman than anyone this side of his mother really cares to listen to in a single evening. But, despite my complaints, I usually watch and generally enjoy the event. The game itself should be interesting. We have a great mix of veteran and new talent at the game, and I really am rooting for the NL to finally break through and win one. See you on the other side of the break, and as ever, thanks for reading.
** Stats courtesty of MLB.com **