Tonight was the 2016 All-Star Game selection show, and while no Yankees player was remotely close to being voted into a starting spot, they still managed to fit three Yankees on the full team in San Diego. This Yankees team might not be very good, but there are certainly bright spots.
The dynamic back end of the bullpen produced two All-Stars: Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances. The tall lefty has been absolutely filthy this year, the second in what has turned out to be a steal of a four-year contract. Some time missed with an injury early in 2015 likely cost him his first career All-Star selection, but the former first round pick has finally been honored. He has a 1.47 ERA, a 1.91 FIP, and a mere five walks in 36 games. Most eye-popping of course are Miller’s 0.682 WHIP and 66 strikeouts in 36 2/3 innings, a 16.2 K/9. That’s decent.
Betances is a Yankees All-Star for the third year in a row. He has been a deserving regular ever since his breakout 2014. The most amusing part about Betances going to San Diego this year is that while this might be the worst of his three full seasons so far, it would still be considered incredible from almost any other reliever. He has a 2.63 ERA, a 1.17 FIP, a 0.976 WHIP, and 74 strikeouts in 41 innings. Just like Miller, his K/9 rounds to 16.2, and he hardly walks anyone either. Mariano Rivera established a great tradition of making the All-Star team almost every year, and it’s awesome that Betances has inherited that mantle.
The last Yankees All-Star representative is someone who few envisioned as a possible All-Star prior to 2016. Give credit to Carlos Beltran though—he has has been on fire for pretty much the entire half-season. The Hall of Fame-caliber player will be an All-Star for the ninth time in his superb career, his first selection since 2013 with the Cardinals. He is hitting .296/.337/.567 with 19 homers in 77 games, good for a 135 OPS+. For perspective, he had 19 in 133 games in 2015 and 15 in 109 games in 2014. Beltran has been the only valuable player on the offense this year, and his power made him a terrific candidate.
Some writers had Aroldis Chapman, Brian McCann, or Masahiro Tanaka on their mock teams, but I think the three who were chosen are good enough. Chapman missing a full month of the season hurt his chances anyway, especially because it wasn’t exactly due to injury. McCann really fell off the cliff after a deserving first two months, even given the poor competition at catcher. If I were to stump for anyone, it would be Tanaka since he is fourth among AL starters in FIP (3.32), fifth in WHIP (1.061), and second in BB/9 (1.6), but he’s been a little shaky of late. While he might end up being an injury replacement, I wouldn’t hold my breath.
Congrats to the Yankees’ All-Stars!