The rosters, which will be complete once the fan vote for the final player in each league concludes, were announced during a selection show on TBS Sunday. Remember, this season baseball added yet another pitcher to the roster, in hopes that the game doesn't end in a tie like the 2002 debacle. The concern once again came to the forefront last season as the game went deep into extra innings and the pitching depth began to run out.
Catcher: No big deal here.
Should be there over: Again, Joe Mauer and Victor Martinez were the correct choices.
Others playing well: Kurt Suzuki, Jorge Posada, Jason Varitek (at least he was), Mike Napoli
Should be there over: It's nice that Ben Zobrist is getting a shot at the All-Star game after such a great first half, but is he really a bigger star than Cabrera?
Others playing well: Russell Branyan, Carlos Pena
Second base: You'd like to see a better on-base percentage (.333), but Ian Kinsler is doing everything else at an incredibly high level. He's a plus defender with 19 home runs and 16 stolen bases.
Should be there over: Dustin Pedroia. And Aaron Hill should be starting. If you wanted three second baseman on the team, Pedroia would be third in line.
Others playing well: Alberto Callaspo, Asdrubal Cabrera
Shortstop: Marco Scutaro stormed out of the gate, and his .381 on-base percetage is still solid. He plays good defense and is the table-setter for what has proven to be a pretty potent offense.
Should be there over: Neither. Both Derek Jeter and Jason Bartlett are more deserving.
Others playing well: Alexei Ramirez
Third base: Chone Figgins doesn't hit for power, so I guess that's his crime. His OBP is a pretty .392, he plays slightly better-than-average defense, and he's one of the better base-stealing threats in the league.
Should be there over: Actually, there just doesn't appear to be room. Both Evan Longoria and Michael Young should be above Figgins, and I couldn't justify him over Zobrist, either.
Others playing well: Scott Rolen, Brandon Inge
Outfield - How the hell is Adam Lind not already on the team? He has to count on the fan vote, and I doubt he wins that. He's got a rate line of .309/.384/.553 (.937 OPS) with 17 bombs and 55 RBI. He has 25 doubles. It's a joke he's not on the roster yet.
Should be there over: Josh Hamilton. Like pretty much everyone else, I'm a fan of Hamilton, but you shouldn't win the voting when you are injured and have compiled a below average OPS when on the field. Honestly, though, I'd take Lind over Adam Jones, Curtis Granderson and Zobrist, too.
Others playing well: Johnny Damon, Jermaine Dye, Shin-Soo Choo, Nick Markakis, Jacoby Ellsbury, Juan Rivera
Pitcher: Jered Weaver has a 3.10 ERA and 1.13 WHIP. He's struck out 86 batters and walked 33. Kevin Millwood has a 2.80 ERA in a notorious hitter's park with a 1.24 WHIP. Sure, he's had help from his defense, but that's part of being a successful pitcher. You trust your defense and pitch to contact when necessary.
Should be there over: Tim Wakefield. For the same reason Javier Vazquez got snubbed in the NL, Wakefield makes it in the AL -- this antiquated notion that pitchers should be judged solely on wins and losses. How absurd. Wakefield is an All-Star because he gets run support from his teammates. But, hey, I'm sure there are lots of guys with a 4.30 ERA and 1.35 WHIP who think they are deserving of being an All-Star. And, yeah, I love seeing five closers on the roster, too (please note sarcasm).
Others playing well: Matt Garza, Ricky Romero, David Aardsma