As the manager for the NL 2010 all-star team, Charlie Manuel is going to have one heck of a decision to make when picking out his starting rotation for the game that will take place on July 13th in Anaheim.
In addition to the usuals such Ubaldo Jimenez, Chris Carpenter, Adam Wainwright, Tim Lincecum, Roy Halladay and Johan Santana, the National League has a couple other starters that should be in consideration for an all-star nod from Manuel and the rest of the NL coaching staff when the selections are made.
What about Josh Johnson? The Marlins ace gets marginal run support at best, but yet is still 8-3 and ranks 6th in IP among NL starting pitchers. Even better, Johnson’s ERA (1.83) is second in the NL, a ranking that is only behind Ubaldo Jimenez in that category.
What about Mike Pelfrey? The Mets righty has arguably been the best pitcher on his staff to this point of the season. Statistics agree. Pelfrey’s win total (10), and ERA (2.71) are among the top 10 in the NL, and most importantly, are both better than his teammate, Johan Santana.
What about Stephen Strasburg? The rookie may only have three wins, but his dominance and record strikeout pace (41 K’s in 25.1 IP) has allowed him to live up to hype that no player has ever had to live up to before. Plus, he has given Nationals fans a reason to show up to games every fifth game. That alone should get him into the all-star game.
What about Jamie Moyer?
That’s right, JAMIE MOYER.
While his 4.30 ERA is nothing to write home about and his outing against the Red Sox two weeks ago (1 IP, 9 ER) may be one of the worst performances this year by a starting pitcher, Moyer is basically playing with the houses money at this point. Due to the fact that he barely made the starting rotation out of spring training, and is approaching social security status, he is doing more with that money than anyone else his age has done previously. As the oldest player baseball at 47 years old, Jamie Moyer is tied for 4th in the NL in wins with nine, a total that ties him with Phillies ace (and Cy Young Candidate) Roy Halladay. Keep in mind, Moyer has won nine or more games before the all star break TWICE (2001 and 2003). In both those seasons, Moyer went on to win 20 games.
Is it likely that Moyer, at his age, with a fastball which has a speed that wouldn’t even get you pulled over on most interstates and highways, will achieve those numbers and make the all-star team to boot?
But, I am going to play devil’s advocate on this one.
If Charlie Manuel and company decide to do the unthinkable, and give Moyer the nod ahead of some of the superior flamethrowers in the game, they might have a compelling argument. Unlike some of the frontrunners such as Halladay, Lincecum, and even Jimenez, Moyer is probably pitching the best he has all season right now. Besides that slip-up in Beantown, Moyer has won his last four decisions, going 7+ innings in each start (one complete game). In addition his stats and recent pitching performances, Moyer’s presence in the all-star game could provide an interesting challenge for the AL hitters. Could you imagine facing an Ubaldo Jimenez 90-92 mph CHANGEUP in during one at-bat, and then a Jamie Moyer 81 mph FASTBALL during the next?
I know I couldn’t.
VOTE FOR JAMIE!