The All-Star Game is about three weeks away. Detroit will be well represented, as it has been in recent years, at the game. Although the fans around the world vote (often poorly) for the starters, the players and all-star coaching staffs can usually fill in a few of the holes and can usually get most of the most-deserving players into the festivities. Unfortunately, there are always a few players with incredible stats who are left out. So I thought we could look at what Tigers will most definitely be there, which ones have a good shot, and who the "snubs" will likely be. In putting together this list, I was surprised by the number of Tigers you could make an argument for.
Rosters will be announced July 3 on TBS and last-man-in voting will begin then. Stat are from ESPN.com and rankings are AL only.
Who will be there
SP Justin Verlander -- 9 wins, 2.54 ERA, a no-hitter. Yeah JV is there.
1B Miguel Cabrera -- Among first basemen No. 2 in average, No. 1 in OBP and OPS, No. 3 in slugging. He does lag in HR and RBI. There are plenty of good first baseman, but I don't see how he could be left out. If he does, that's a real big snub. On the bright side, Adrian Gonzalez is leading the voting now He does deserve to start.
Who ought to be there and might
C Alex Avila -- Among catchers he is first in RBI and average, first in OBP (.375!), first in slugging, and third in HR. Oh, and he's tied for first with Matt Wieters in caught stealing percentage (40%). Most likely Avila goes to the game. He won't be voted in, but I'm sure they'll take a couple catchers and he is best qualified this year.
Who could be there but probably won't
SS Jhonny Peralta -- 1st in average, slugging, OBP (and OPS of course), 2nd in HR and RBI. Obviously he deserves to go. But Asdrubal Cabrera had a hot month of May and is the better fielder, and Derek Jeter will be the starter if he's healthy. There might not be room for Peralta.
DH/C Victor Martinez -- I don't know what to make of V-Mart's chances, to be honest. Because he can catch, he could be a help there. But as a DH in a National League park, well that won't be a big help will it? And the AL is loaded in first baseman. But he can PH too and they'll need a lot of those. He's third overall in batting average, and 11th in OPS. But he doesn't have HR to hang his hat on, nor RBI. But he does have star power and he's an ex Red Sock. I really don't know what to think as you can tell. It wouldn't surprise me to see him there, however.
RP Jose Valverde -- He's among the saves leaders with 16 and a 100% save percentage. He's got a pretty decent ERA (2.70) and K/9 (9.3). But he just doesn't have any one peg to hang his hat on I think. I wouldn't be surprised if he was an All Star. I wouldn't be surprised if he wasn't. I just think there's a few more "name" closers who'll get more consideration.
OF Brennan Boesch -- He's put his second-half stumbles from 2010 and a slow month of May behind him. He's fifth in average (.295) among outfielders, fifth in HR (tied), sixth in OPS (.838). But he doesn't have above-average fielding or speed to help his case, nor does he necessarily have star power yet either. But you could certainly make an argument for him.
Who won't be there
SP Max Scherzer -- He's tied for the wins lead, but I really don't think Scherzer is having an All-Star season otherwise. Four out of his last 10 games he's allowed at least five runs and he only ranks 15th in strikeouts. He's the beneficiary of a good month and some nice run support.
RP Al Alburquerque -- He's a good story. Makes his MLB debut and strikes out veteran major leaguers like he's playing whiffle ball. He's almost unhittable, really. Fox Sports Detroit talked about the possibility of his being invited to the game. But he's not a closer, he's not an 8th inning pitcher, he won't be there.
For more thoughts:
By the way: I ordered this list in best chance to worst in my opinion.