The All-Star Game is officially less than a month away, which means that the selection process is well underway. Derek Jeter, Brian McCann and Jacoby Ellsbury are the only position players who currently seem to have a chance of making the team. What about the pitchers? The players, coaches and managers are responsible for voting in five starters and three relievers (plus a backup at each position) for each league. At this point, of all the Yankee relievers, Dellin Betances is most deserving of a spot on the All-Star team.
Through 42 innings, Betances has a 1.50 ERA, with an impressive 70 strikeouts, 11 walks, and 7 earned runs. Opponents are batting just .133 against him, and he has a WHIP of 0.71. Among the entire American League, he has the second highest K/9 (15.12). David Robertson's 16.05 is the highest. Betances has pitched in 31 games, and has only allowed a run to score in six of those games. He also happens to lead the majors in fWAR with 1.7.
Some of the other AL relievers who could be in the mix include Koji Uehara, Sean Doolittle and Greg Holland. Uehara has pitched 32.2 innings with 11.85 K/9, 1.10 BB/9, 0.83 HR/9, 0.67 WHIP and a 0.83 ERA. He also has a LOB% of 100 because all three of the runs that he's allowed came off of home runs. Weird. Doolittle has been great since taking over the role of closer in Oakland. Over 34 IP, Doolittle has 12.71 K/9, 0.26 BB/9, 0.53 HR/9, 0.62 WHIP and a 2.12 ERA. Holland is also having a great season for the Royals with 13.34 K/9, 2.28 BB/9, 0.33 HR/9, 0.98 WHIP and a 1.30 ERA through 27.2 IP. Dave Cameron over at FanGraphs thinks that the three of them plus Betances can all fit on the AL roster. That would be ideal.
After the fans and the players vote, the manager gets to fill the remaining eight spots on the roster. This year's manager is the Red Sox's John Farrell, of course. Part of his job is to make sure that every team in the AL has a player on the roster. If Betances isn't voted onto the roster by the players, he might be in trouble. It's hard to think that Farrell would choose a Yankee over one of his own players, if it came down to one spot for Uehara or whoever is left. It will be interesting to see how that factor plays out.
Voting for the position players ends July 3rd, and the final vote will open soon after that. If Betances isn't voted in by the players, then he could make it onto the ballot for the final five vote by the fans. Although, David Robertson was on the final vote ballot last year, and lost to Steve Delabar, so the size of the Yankees' fan base doesn't guarantee that Betances would win. Either way, he should at least be strongly considered to make the team, unless he's just terrible over the next few weeks.
Who do you think the AL relievers will be? Do you think Farrell will add as many Red Sox as he can?