Blake Snell Named to MLB’s 2018 AL All-Star Team

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Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell has been named to the American League roster for Tuesday’s 2018 MLB All-Star Game at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C. nfl nike jersey cheap

The Rays announced the news on Twitter on Friday.

MLB confirmed he’ll replace Cleveland Indians starter Corey Kluber.cheap nike nfl jersey

Snell, who led the AL in ERA when the rosters were announced Sunday, was almost universally viewed as the biggest snub from the Midsummer Classic—until now.

Although he was always expected to end up on the AL squad either as an injury placement or taking the place of a starter who pitches Sunday, making them unavailable for the All-Star Game, he said that wouldn’t bring the same sense of satisfaction.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

“I feel like being an alternate, it’s not satisfying,” he told reporters. “I feel like I earned it but being an alternate, it doesn’t feel the same.”

Snell now ranks third in the Junior Circuit in ERA (2.27) after a poor outing Thursday against the Minnesota Twins. His other numbers are equally strong with a 12-5 record, 1.07 WHIP and 134 strikeouts in 119 innings across 20 starts.cheap nfl nike jersey

It’s the 25-year-old Washington native’s first All-Star Game selection.

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There’s what the Major League Baseball All-Star teams will probably look like, and then there’s what they should look like.

We’ve already covered the former. Now it’s time for the latter.authentic nfl jerseys cheap

Our goal is to determine which players the American League and National League would bring to Nationals Park on July 17 if the statistics were in charge. And by “the statistics,” we mean the average of players’ wins above replacement at Baseball Reference and FanGraphs plus other metrics to help break ties.

Here are the ground rules for players:

Position players must have made at least 150 plate appearances (see AL and NL qualifiers)
Starting pitchers must have made at least 10 starts (AL and NL) nfl jerseys for cheap
Relief pitchers must have made at least 20 appearances (AL and NL)
Players must be healthy or expected to be healthy by the All-Star break
There need not be a representative for every MLB team

And here’s how the rosters are comprised:

32 players per side
20 position players: a starting nine (including a handpicked DH for the NL) with a backup for each position (except designated hitter) and three wild cards
12 pitchers: eight starters and four relievers

Let’s take it away.

If the stats had their druthers, the AL starting lineup would look like this:

C: Yan Gomes, CLE (1.3 WAR)
1B: Matt Olson, OAK (2.0 WAR)
2B: Jose Altuve, HOU (3.8 WAR)
3B: Jose Ramirez, CLE (5.2 WAR)
SS: Francisco Lindor, CLE (4.5 WAR)
LF: Aaron Judge, NYY (3.7 WAR)
CF: Mike Trout, LAA (6.4 WAR)
RF: Mookie Betts, BOS (4.4 WAR)
DH: J.D. Martinez, BOS (3.1 WAR)

This starting nine mostly resembles the one that the fans want to see, save for a few exceptions.cheap nfl jerseys

One is at shortstop, where Manny Machado is notably absent. He has star power and big offensive numbers (.929 OPS and 19 home runs), but he’s been slumping, and his value is hurt by his well-below-average defense.

Another notable absence is Jose Abreu at first base. Like Machado, he’s also been slumping and doesn’t have much to offer in the field.

The only other disparity is at catcher, where fans have been pulling for Wilson Ramos. To their credit, Ramos’ .780 OPS is the best among qualified AL catchers. The catch is that Ramos is being held back by FanGraphs’ low valuations of his baserunning and defense.nfl jersey cheap

In place of Machado, it’s hard to argue against Francisco Lindor, who’s having yet another spectacular season both at the plate and in the field. For their parts, Matt Olson is rocking a solid .842 OPS since May 1, and Yan Gomes’ offense (.777 OPS) is all the way out of the pit it fell into in 2016.

Otherwise, nobody should need convincing that Jose Altuve, Jose Ramirez, Aaron Judge, Mike Trout, Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez deserve their spots.

American League Bench

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Backing up the AL’s starting nine, meanwhile, should be these 11 guys:

C: Wilson Ramos, TB (1.1 WAR)
1B: Mitch Moreland, BOS (1.8 WAR)
2B: Jed Lowrie, OAK (2.3 WAR)cheap nfl jerseys from china
3B: Matt Chapman, OAK (3.4 WAR)
SS: Andrelton Simmons, LAA (3.1 WAR)
SS: Jean Segura, SEA (2.8 WAR)
SS: Carlos Correa, HOU (2.6 WAR)
OF: Eddie Rosario, MIN (3.6 WAR)
OF: Mitch Haniger, SEA (2.5 WAR)
OF: Andrew Benintendi, BOS (2.5 WAR)
OF: George Springer, HOU (2.5 WAR)

The one inclusion that might raise some eyebrows is Matt Chapman at third base. That won’t be possible unless he recovers from a hand injury.nfl cheap jerseys

That may be more doable than it first appeared. According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, doctors believe they’ve identified where Chapman’s hand is injured. He may be back as soon as this weekend.

In any event, there’s no question Chapman deserves to be an All-Star. He has a solid .793 OPS and 10 homers, and he’s arguably the single best defender in MLB.nfl jerseys cheap china

Chapman would join an infield comprised of two other first-time All-Stars (Mitch Moreland and Jed Lowrie) and the rest of the AL’s best shortstops: Andrelton Simmons, Jean Segura and Carlos Correa. Machado is once again a notable omission, which gives an idea of how loaded the AL is at the position.nfl jerseys

Elsewhere, Eddie Rosario, Mitch Haniger, Andrew Benintendi and George Springer are not to be lost in the shadows of Trout, Betts and Judge. They’re all fine athletes and have a collective .874 OPS.nfl jersey
To round things out, Gary Sanchez actually has an edge on Ramos in WAR: 1.2 to 1.1. But Sanchez will be out three to four weeks with a groin injury, so it’s not a given he’ll be healthy by July 17.

MLB Superstar Power Rankings: How All 30 Teams’ Biggest Stars Stack Up So Far

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As we churn past the one-week mark in May, the 2018 MLB season is officially heating up.

Let’s take this opportunity to rank every team’s biggest star, from No. 30 to No. 1.

First off, what defines a star? There’s an undeniable amount of subjectivity involved, especially on clubs blessed with two or more exemplary performers.

In essence, it’s a combination of ability, potential, track record and an indefinable something. Your results may vary, but we feel we’ve identified a credible candidate from every squad.

After that, it was a matter of ranking them based on their performance through May 7. It’s a small sample, but it’s enough to draw initial conclusions. nfl authentic jerseys cheap

No. 30: Felipe Vazquez, LHP, Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pittsburgh Pirates traded outfielder and franchise icon Andrew McCutchen to the San Francisco Giants this winter and shipped ace Gerrit Cole to the Houston Astros.

That leaves hard-throwing lefty reliever Felipe Vazquez as their de facto biggest star.

The 26-year-old posted a 1.67 ERA with 88 strikeouts in 75.1 innings last season. His ERA has climbed to 3.46 in 2018, though he’s still missing bats with 15 punchouts in 13 frames.

No. 29: Matt Chapman, 3B, Oakland Athletics

The small-market Oakland Athletics are known for jettisoning stars to restock their farm system. Third baseman Matt Chapman may be in that boat in the near(ish) future.

For now, the 25-year-old is coming off a breakout 2017 in which he hit 14 home runs in 84 games. He’s hitting a ho-hum .228 this season, but he has three doubles, three triples and six homers in 35 games.

Add his exemplary defense, and he’s an unproven stud on the rise who could sail up these rankings with a hot month or two.

No. 28: Salvador Perez, C, Kansas City Royals

After missing the first 20 games of the season with a knee injury, Salvador Perez has hit .273 in 55 at-bats for the Kansas City Royals.

Perez, who turns 28 on Thursday, remains among the top backstops in the game, and he’s a leader on a Royals club that let center fielder Lorenzo Cain and first baseman Eric Hosmer walk via free agency.

The early disabled list stint calls his durability into question, however, as K.C. moves toward a seemingly inevitable rebuild.

No. 27: Brian Dozier, 2B, Minnesota Twins

In 2016, Brian Dozier became the fourth second basemen in MLB history to reach 40 home runs in a season. He followed that up with 34 home runs in 2017.nfl jerseys from china

He’s hit five home runs in 31 games with the Minnesota Twins but is also hitting .226 with a .290 on-base percentage.

Needless to say, those numbers need to improve for him to maintain his star rating.

No. 26: Marcell Ozuna, LF, St. Louis Cardinals

After coming over from the Miami Marlins for a rich package of prospects in December, Marcell Ozuna was supposed to be the lineup anchor the St. Louis Cardinals lacked.

The 27-year-old two-time All-Star hasn’t lived up to expectations in the early going.

His power has been MIA, as he’s managed only two home runs and a .618 OPS. There’s every reason to assume he’ll come around, but the Cards will wring their wings in the interim. official nfl jerseys cheap

No. 25: Josh Donaldson, 3B, Toronto Blue Jays

It’s been a dispiriting contract year for Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson. The three-time All-Star and 2015 American League MVP has played in only 17 games while battling shoulder issues and is hitting .224.

Donaldson has hit two home runs and a pair of doubles in five games since returning from the disabled list last week, which is good news for the Jays and possibly even better news for the 32-year-old’s future bank account.nfl authentic jerseys

Each MLB Team’s Prospect Who Could Help Right Away

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We spend a lot of time talking about a team’s top prospects, but what about the next prospect?

Sometimes those are one in the same, as highly regarded youngsters such as Ronald Acuna Jr. and Gleyber Torres are knocking on the door for a big league promotion.

Other times, it’s a largely unheralded middle reliever or a second-tier position player who winds up providing in-house support.

Ahead we’ve taken a closer look at the one prospect from each team who is ready to help in the majors.

Players were chosen based on a combination of their individual development and production as well as their path to MLB playing time based on current or expected team needs.

Baltimore Orioles: RF Austin Hays

Hays rocketed through the minors after being selected in the third round of the 2016 draft, posting a .958 OPS with 32 home runs and 95 RBI between High-A and Double-A last year to earn a late call-up.

The 22-year-old entered camp as the front-runner to win the starting right field job but hit just .243 with 12 strikeouts in 40 plate appearances before being optioned to Double-A.where to buy nfl jerseys online

With Anthony Santander, Colby Rasmus and Craig Gentry combining for a .167/.214/.273 line while manning right field, Hays will get his chance soon.

Boston Red Sox: RP Williams Jerez

Sam Travis is Boston’s most MLB-ready prospect, but the first baseman doesn’t have a clear path to playing time over Hanley Ramirez and Mitch Moreland.

Instead, look for reliever Williams Jerez to be the next prospect to carve out a role in the majors.nfl china jersey

Using a heavy mid-90s fastball and plus slider, he held left-handed hitters to a .485 OPS while posting a 26.1 percent strikeout rate last year. His ability to be more than a specialist will hinge on his splitter’s development.

New York Yankees: 2B/3B Gleyber Torres

The late-offseason additions of Neil Walker and Brandon Drury meant the Yankees did not nfl women jersey start Torres’ arbitration clock by putting him on the Opening Day roster. He’ll push his way into the picture soon, though.

The 21-year-old underwent season-ending Tommy John surgery last June or he likely would have already nike nfl jerseys differences made his MLB debut.

With a hot start in Triple-A (16-for-43, 5 XBH) he could be promoted in short order.nfl china jerseys nike

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