After weeks of controversy and drama surrounding All-Star voting, the rosters for the game were officially announced today. Earlier in the voting process, it looked like the American League lineup would consist of nothing but Royals, but it thankfully didn't work out that way in the end. Unsurprisingly, none of the Yankees earned the fan vote, however, Mark Teixeira and Dellin Betances both earned spots through player and manager selections.
The American League was stacked at first base this year, and it looked like Tex might find himself on the outside looking in despite the fact that he's putting together his best season in recent memory. The fan vote went to Miguel Cabrera, but Miggy will miss the game with a Grade 3 calf strain, so Teixeira has replaced him on the roster. Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder were also selected as first base reserves.
Last year, Masahiro Tanaka and Dellin Betances both were selected for the All-Star game, but this year Betances will be the only Yankee pitcher on the roster. Although you could have made a strong case for Michael Pineda and Andrew Miller (if he was healthy) earlier in the season, Betances was most deserving of the spot. Through 42 innings, he already has 68 strikeouts, which puts him on pace to pass the 135 Ks that he dealt through 90 innings last year.
The team had three Yankees selected to the All-Star game last year, and they have a chance to match that total again this year. The players nominated for the Final Vote were also announced today, and Brett Gardner is one of the five candidates that could still make the team. His competition consists of Xander Bogaerts, Yoenis Cespedes, Brian Dozier and Mike Moustakas.
Voting will likely be close, but Gardner has been not only one of the Yankees' best hitters, but also one of the best hitters in the league. Among qualified batters in the American League, he ranks 14th in terms of batting average, 10th for on-base percentage, and 14th for wRC+. He's been worth 2.6 fWAR, which is 15th best in the league. The last time a Yankee was on the Final Vote ballot was back in 2013, when David Robertson was nominated, but he didn't earn enough votes to make the team. If voting goes like it did before, it'll probably be Moustakas who nabs that final spot, but Gardner may be more deserving.
Are you happy with the American League roster? Let us know in the comments below, and you can vote for Gardner here.