The rosters for the 85th annual MLB All-Star Game were announced on Sunday night. The Yankees will be sending three players, at least (injuries and other things will alter the roster before the game), to Minnesota one week from Tuesday, and to no surprise, Derek Jeter will be one of them after being the leading vote getter of all American League Shortstops with over 3.9 million votes.
Jeter will be joined at Target Field by a pair of rookie pitchers -- Yankees ace Masahiro Tanaka, and Dellin Betances, who has been the team's best bullpen arm this season.
Jeter, who turned 40 a couple weeks ago, is hitting .271 this season after picking up three more hits on Sunday in the Yankees' 9-7 win over the Minnesota Twins.
In what will be the 14th and final All-Star Game of his Hall of Fame career, Jeter will certainly be the center piece of the game, and it'll be really interesting to see how he's treated during the game and how he leaves, just as it was watching Mariano Rivera enter and leave the game last year in New York.
Tanaka signed with the Yankees in January, and has taken the league by storm. Arguably the best pitcher in the American League this season -- definitely the top rookie -- Tanaka is 12-3 this season with a 2.27 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, and 130 strikeouts in 122.2 innings. Tanaka has a great case to start the All-Star Game, but he is slated to pitch against the Orioles next Sunday, which would pretty much rule him out of pitching at all in the game. Bummer, right?
As for Betances, this kid has been a great story this season, being named to the All-Star team during his first year in the big leagues. A youngster with a bright future as a starter, the Yankees converted him to the bullpen, gave him a shot during the spring, and he's made the very most of it.
With one of the best K/9 in the league (not better than David Robertson's, though), Betances has a 1.61 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, and 78 strikeouts in just 50.1 innings. Happy for this kid, I'll be he'll get the nod for the game a few more times before his career ends.
As for any possible snubs, I think that you could really make a case for David Robertson to be an All-Star. In his first year as the Yankees' closer, he's recorded 21 saves -- three in this four-game series against the Twins -- with a 2.93 ERA and 56 strikeouts in 30.2 innings. There will probably be a couple of pitchers drop out of the game because of injuries or pitching the Sunday before (like Tanaka), so maybe there is a chance he'll still get in.
I also thought that Brett Gardner had a good case, but probably not good enough to get him in.
Starting AL lineup: Miguel Cabrera (1B), Robinson Cano (2B), Derek Jeter (SS), Josh Donaldson (3B), Jose Bautista (OF, MLB's leading vote-getter at almost 6 million votes), Mike Trout (OF), Adam Jones (OF), and Nelson Cruz (DH).
Reserves: Derek Norris, Kurt Suzuki, Edwin Encarnacion, Brandon Moss, Jose Altuve, Adrian Beltre, Alexei Ramirez, Jose Abreu, Michael Brantley, Yoenis Cespedes, Alex Gordon, Victor Martinez.
Pitchers: Yu Darvish, Max Scherzer, Felix Hernandez, Masahiro Tanaka, Jon Lester, David Price, Scott Kazmir, Mark Buehrle, Sean Doolittle, Greg Holland, Glen Perkins and Dellin Betances.
Starting NL lineup: Yadier Molina (C), Paul Goldschmidt (1B), Chase Utley (2B), Troy Tulowitzski (SS), Aramis Ramirez (3B), Andrew McCutchen (OF), Carlos Gomez (OF), and Yasiel Puig (OF).
Reserves: Jonathan Lucroy, Devin Mesoraco, Freddie Freeman, Dee Gordon, Daniel Murphy, Matt Carpenter, Todd Frazier, Starlin Castro, Giancarlo Stanton, Josh Harrison, Hunter Pence, Charlie Blackmon.
Pitchers: Johnny Cueto, Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Madison Bumgarner, Adam Wainwright, Tyson Ross, Jordan Zimmermann, Julio Teheran, Craig Kimbrel, Aroldis Chapman, Francisco Rodriguez, Tony Watson, and Pat Neshek.