Arizona, Here They Come


This weekend, MLB announced the rosters for the 82nd All-Star Game to be held in Phoenix, Arizona and the Red Sox were well represented. Four members of this year’s Red Sox club where selected for the AL Roster: David Ortiz, Jacoby Ellsbury, Adrian Gonzalez, and Josh Beckett. Ortiz and Gonzalez will be starters and Ellsbury and Beckett will wait their turn to shine, as home-field advantage in the World Series is up for grabs once again. There was no real surprise that those 4 guys made the club, but there was an interesting decision made to exclude 10-game winner Jon Lester from the roster. His numbers aren’t amazing this season (10-4, 3.43 ERA, 105 Ks), but they were certainly strong enough to earn consideration as an All-Star selection. Regardless, let’s take a look at the 4 Red Sox All-Stars, as well as run down the rest of the AL Roster.

The most obvious Red Sox lock for this year’s team was David Ortiz. He, along with Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson, and Jose Bautista, all beat the previous high in vote count of 6,069,688, with Bautista taking the top honors with an unprecedented 7,454,753 votes. It is great to see such interest in the All-Star balloting and is a great sign that baseball is flourishing across the country. Ortiz will be making his 7th trip to the All-Star game this season, having a strong lock on the DH slot after having a strong 1st half of the 2011 season. Ortiz is hitting .301 entering play on July 5th with 17 home runs and 49 RBIs, a far cry from the beginnings of each of the last 2 seasons. He has 39 extra base hits, including the rarest of feats for him, a triple. Ortiz is 2nd in almost every offensive category to his fellow All-Star, Adrian Gonzalez.

What more can you say about Adrian Gonzalez? He is one of the best pure hitters in baseball, and at age 29, has several peak years still to come. In his 1sthalf of a season with Boston, he has amassed 16 home runs and leads all of baseball with 75 RBIs to go along with 28 doubles and 3 triples. He has the 2nd best average in baseball (.348) and the 4th highest slugging percentage (.586), making the Red Sox large investment in the slugger a brilliant move. Gonzo has proven his worth defensively at 1st base as well, making some incredible plays to prevent base hits and get outs at 1st. Gonzo was also asked by Ortiz to join him on the AL Home Run Derby team, so he will be spending a lot of time in the batter’s box down in Arizona.

The final 2 All-Star selections both provide great come-back stories. Both Josh Beckett and Jacoby Ellsbury had injury issues last season, causing many members of the media (myself included) to question their future with Boston and on the field. Ellsbury played in only a few dozen games in 2010 due to his nagging and persistent rib injuries and made a few choice comments about the Red Sox training staff during his rehab. Beckett on the other hand, had a poor season and a nagging back injury that kept him from being a top-tier starter all season. Ellsbury’s .310 average, 9 home runs, and 27 stolen bases through July 5th this year were enough to get him the 4th outfielder slot in this year’s game, marking his 1st career selection, while Beckett’s stellar 2.12 ERA (3rd best in baseball), 7-3 record, and 91 Ks earned him his 3rd All-Star appearance.

The full AL Roster is listed below:


C Alex Avila, DET

1B Adrian Gonzalez, BOS

2B Robinson Cano, NYY

3B Alex Rodriguez, NYY

SS Derek Jeter, NYY

OF Jose Bautista, TOR

OF Curtis Granderson, NYY

OF Josh Hamilton, TEX

DH David Ortiz, BOS


P Josh Beckett, BOS

P Aaron Crow, KC

P Gio Gonzalez, OAK

P Felix Hernandez, SEA

P Brandon League, SEA

P Chris Perez, CLE

P David Price, TB

P Mariano Rivera, NYY

P James Shields, TB

P Jose Valverde, DET

P Justin Verlander, DET

P Jered Weaver, LAA

P C.J. Wilson, TEX


C Russell Martin, NYY

C Matt Wieters, BAL

1B Miguel Cabrera, DET

2B Howard Kendrick, LAA

3B Adrian Beltre, TEX

SS Asdrubal Cabrera, CLE

OF Michael Cuddyer, MIN

OF Jacoby Ellsbury, BOS

OF Matt Joyce, TB

OF Carlos Quentin, CWS

DH Michael Young, TEX

The Red Sox organization should be proud of their 4 All-Star selections and their 2 Home Run Derby participants. The Red Sox had a solid 1st half of the season, but will be looking for an even better 2nd half to propel them into the post-season. Individual accolades are great to see and are well deserved, but the ultimate prize is team success and a World Series trophy. The All-Star game is now just a week and a half away and unofficially marks the 2nd half push for teams in contention. Enjoy the game boys, because there is a lot of work left to be done.

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