The rosters for Major League Baseball's 85th All-Star Game were revealed on Sunday night, and the Yankees have three representatives on the American League squad. Masahiro Tanaka was unsurprisingly selected to the AL roster after posting one of the best first halves among all American League starters. Since he's currently in line to start next Sunday's night game against the Orioles in Baltimore, it's unlikely that he will actually appear in the game, so he should receive the All-Star Break rest regardless. For Yankees fans most concerned about that, it's a win/win. Hopefully this will be the first of several All-Star Games for Tanaka.
Relief ace Dellin Betances was also named to the All-Star team. It's well-deserved for arguably the best "fireman" in baseball thus far in 2014, who has made quite the leap from Triple-A starting dud in April 2013 to MLB All-Star reliever in 2014. Dellin has been truly phenomenal in relief, striking out damn near everyone and walking very few batters, a tribute to the masterful work he's done to improve his control. It's a bit of a shame that closer David Robertson won't be joining him, as D-Rob has also posted a meritorious first half, but c'est la vie. Maybe he'll be named as a replacement for someone.
In the last possible year he could be elected, the fans decided to vote Derek Jeter the AL's starting shortstop, even though he's had an up-and-down final season. It will be his 14th All-Star Game, the ninth time he was voted onto the team by the fans. Yes, it's kind of silly that Jeter is the starter even though the likes of Erick Aybar and Alcides Escobar are having better years and the fact that the All-Star Game is relevant to home field advantage in the World Series for whatever reason makes it even more suspect. In the end though, the All-Star Game and Major League Baseball are done primarily for entertainment, and if fans want Derek Jeter as the starter, then that's the final word. He isn't even the worst starter, as the fans for some reason decided to make Matt Wieters the starting catcher, even though he's out for the season with Tommy John Surgery and hasn't played in months (the Royals' Salvador Perez will start in his place). All-Star voting will always be weird.
The AL starters are rounded out by Miguel Cabrera (1B), Robinson Cano (2B, as the prodigal double play partner returns to Jeter), 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). The NL's starters are Yadier Molina (C), Paul Goldschmidt (1B), Chase Utley (2B), Troy Tulowitzki (SS), Aramis Ramirez (3B), Andrew McCutchen (OF), Carlos Gomez (OF), and Yasiel Puig (OF).
The other AL position players are Perez, Jose Abreu, Victor Martinez, Yoenis Cespedes, Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Altuve, Derek Norris, Kurt Suzuki, Adrian Beltre, Alexei Ramirez, Michael Brantley, Alex Gordon, and Brandon Moss. (Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury probably had decent cases, but the outfield mix will always be crowded. Alas.) The AL pitchers aside from Tanaka and Betances will be Yu Darvish, Max Scherzer, Felix Hernandez, Jon Lester, David Price, Scott Kazmir, Mark Buehrle, Sean Doolittle, and Greg Holland. It is pure lunacy that Chris Sale is somehow not an All-Star, but I'll bet that's remedied when Tanaka and the AL's other Sunday starters are replaced. Otherwise lol.
The NL's position player All-Stars are Giancarlo Stanton, Jonathan Lucroy, Dee Gordon, Freddie Freeman, Starlin Castro, Todd Frazier, Charlie Blackmon, Hunter Pence, Devin Mesoraco, Daniel Murphy, Josh Harrison, and Matt Carpenter. The NL pitchers will be 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. Jeff Samardzija was also named to the NL All-Stars, but he will of course be ineligible since he pitches for the Oakland Athletics now.
The All-Star Game will be played in the evening on Tuesday, July 15th on FOX. The Final Vote features no Yankees and for some reason makes fans choose between Sale and Corey Kluber (among others). Yeesh.