The Tigers were probably due for an All-Star snub or two after seeing six players make the 2013 roster, but having two players left off the roster in 2014 is a bit of a surprise. Ian Kinsler and Anibal Sanchez both put up some impressive numbers in the first half, but were shut out of the All-Star festivities in lieu of less deserving players.
There are a couple of rules in place that have made deserving All-Star selections more difficult in recent seasons. First, the roster is required to have at least one player from each team. Also, the fact that the All-Star game determines home field advantage in the World Series plays a role in roster construction. While managers are concerned with selecting deserving talents, they also look to add players who fit the roster. Last season, Jim Leyland selected Tampa Bay's Ben Zobrist because of his positional flexibility.
Of the two, Kinsler's snub is the more surprising. A four-time All-Star already, Kinsler was one of the bigger names in the fold, and his resurgence with the AL Central-leading Tigers makes for a compelling case to get the All-Star nod. However, Kinsler's numbers make an even better case for his inclusion. His .306 batting average ranks 10th in the American League while his .361 wOBA is 15th. He also ranks third in the league in WAR, behind only Mike Trout and Alex Gordon. Kinsler has been worth 0.9 WAR more than Jose Altuve and 1.2 WAR more than starting second baseman Robinson Cano.
Anibal Sanchez also made a compelling case for a roster spot despite missing three weeks with a blister on his right hand. Because of this, he only ranks 42nd among AL starters with 87 2/3 innings pitched. However, his numbers have been spectacular enough to warrant a selection. He ranks 13th in the league among starters with 2.1 WAR -- ahead of Scott Kazmir and Mark Buehrle -- and his 2.99 FIP ranks 11th in the AL. Sanchez's 79 ERA- and 75 FIP- both rank in the top 12 in the American League as well.
Kinsler and Sanchez were not the only snubs in the American League, but they have as solid of an argument as anyone else to be included on this year's roster. Any of the five starters in the final vote for the American League -- Chris Sale, Corey Kluber, Rick Porcello, Garrett Richards, and Dallas Keuchel -- probably deserve to be in the game over both Buehrle and Kazmir, while Kyle Seager, Brian Dozier, and even rookie sensation George Springer have a fair argument among the position players.
What do you think? Were Kinsler and Sanchez snubbed?