Voting for this year's All-Star game in Minneapolis ended Thursday and on Sunday the rosters will be announced. Hopefully you have your typing fingers in good shape so that when Random Good Player X is left off the roster for Slightly Lesser Player Y, you can decry the entire process on social media.
Luckily, for the White Sox, there shouldn't be a whole lot of drama regarding who does and does not make the team. Let's take a look at the obvious candidates.
The only argument one could make against Sale's inclusion is that, out of every potential starting pitching candidate, Sale has tossed the fewest innings (78) because of an injury that robbed him of five weeks and a handful of starts.
Even despite that, however, Sale still ranks seventh among AL starting pitchers in WAR, and some that are ahead of him, such as Dallas Keuchel and Rick Porcello, are fringe candidates whose other numbers don't come close to measuring up against Sale.
Sale is in the conversation with Masahiro Tanaka, Yu Darvish and Felix Hernandez for the label of Best Starting Pitcher in the AL, and would also be in the mix to start the game if he hadn't thrown between 25 and 50 innings less than those three to date. He should be a no-brainer.
At this point, the biggest point of contention regarding Abreu and All-Star weekend centers more around if he will participate in the Home Run Derby than the game itself.
ESPN did a projection chart of All-Stars for each league based solely off of WAR and, interestingly enough, Abreu didn't warrant inclusion. That's because, surprisingly, he ranks behind Edwin Encarnacion, Miguel Cabrera and Brandon Moss in that category.
Now, obviously WAR isn't the end-all, but it is interesting to note that at a loaded position like first base, someone might not make the roster. Moss has seen time in the outfield, however, and could be picked to play out there, and there's also the DH hole to consider, so it's more than likely AL manager John Farrell will have room to lump most, if not all of those deserving candidates onto the team.
Despite cooling down after a red-hot start, Ramirez remains one of the best candidates in an otherwise weak group. Derek Jeter is likely to start (beef about this all you want but it's a discussion for another day), and the only other viable candidate for the position is the Angels' Erick Aybar, whom Ramirez ranks behind in the WAR category.
If Farrell opts for three shortstops, all three will make the team easily (unless someone is totally enamored with Alcides Escobar, who's having a fine season), but if only two are picked, either Ramirez or Aybar will find themselves on the chopping block in order to get Jeter one of his 700 final curtain calls.
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