Scott Garceau: All-Star Worthy Orioles
Baseball’s All-Star game will be played July 10th in Kansas City and I suspect the Orioles should have more than the mandated one player at Kaufman Stadium. In 10 of the last 11 years the Orioles have had only one player on the American League all-star team. Remember, each team has to represented so one player is automatic.
You’re a good Orioles fan if you remember that Ty Wiggington, George Sherrill and Tony Bautista were among the all-stars representing Baltimore during these troubled years.
I suspect we’ll see multiple Orioles in Kansas City for the 2012 game. Here’s four who may get the call.
Adam Jones– Last years Most Valuable Oriole is a contender for American League MVP this year. Jones is currently 4th in fan voting behind Josh Hamilton, Curtis Granderson and Jose Bautista. If he doesn’t make the vote manager Ron Washington should add him. Jones ranks in the American League’s top 10 in most hitting categories including runs (tie for 2nd);hits (3rd); home runs (6th), slugging % (5th) and OPS (7th). And he’s been clutch with those extra inning walk-off homers. The Orioles are 15-2 when Jones goes yard and 11 of his 18 homers have tied the game or given the Orioles the lead. Throw in a Gold Glove, 9 stolen bases and you’ve got an all-star.
Jim Johnson – He’s second in the majors with 20 saves and he’s converted those 20 with only one blown save and he came back to get the win in that game. His streak of converting 25 straight save opportunities the 2nd best in Orioles history. 20 saves and a sparkling ERA of 1.17 should give J.J. his first All-Star trip.
Jason Hammel– How could the Orioles trade Jeremy Guthrie for this journeyman? Admit it, that’s how you felt when Hamel and Matt Lindstrom were traded here from the Rockies. The deal looks pretty good so far. Guthrie, and his 7 something ERA, has been sent to the bullpen while Hammel has numbers worthy of being sent to KC. Hamel’s 7-2 record is better than Justin Verlander’s. His 2.87 ERA is 7th best in the league and better than David Price, Felix Hernandez and CC Sabathia’s. All this while battling a knee injury. Hamel could use the rest but he’s put up all-star numbers.
Matt Wieters– Last year’s all-star catcher is currently 3rd in the
voting behind Mike Napoli and Joe Mauer. Wieters numbers haven’t been great (.254, 9HR, 32RBI) but he has more rbi’s and is hitting 20 points higher than Napoli. And Napoli can’t come close to Wiet’s defense, for the second straight year the Orioles catcher leads the league in percentage of throwing out base stealers. A.J. Pierzynski has the best hitting numbers among AL catchers and Joe Mauer is having a solid first half. Wieters may not get the call, but the leagues Gold Glove catcher would make any team better.