Rick Porcello is one of five pitchers in a fan vote for the final American League All-Star roster spot. Like Brandon Inge in the famed "BranTorino" campaign of 2009, Porcello will have a chance to make his first All-Star appearance if he garners enough votes in the next week. MLB.com describes the vote as follows:
Balloting is underway for the All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian, a 92-hour blitz in which unique campaign alliances will form, digital balloting records likely will be smashed and you will decide on a position player for the National League and a pitcher for the American League.
Despite a rough outing tonight, Porcello still makes a compelling case with an 11-5 record and 3.53 ERA. He is tied for the league lead with two shutouts and is averaging 6 2/3 innings per start. Porcello's strikeout rate is well below last season's 19.3 percent clip, but his ERA and 1.18 WHIP are both career bests.
Left-hander Chris Sale was a surprise omission from the AL roster given his 2.16 ERA, but a stint on the disabled list has limited him to just 87 1/3 innings this year. Sale ranks second in the AL in both ERA and FIP behind Seattle's Felix Hernandez, and 10th with 2.9 WAR. He is also one of six AL pitchers with a 6.00 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Garrett Richards picked up his 10th win of the season on Sunday, allowing a run in 7 1/3 innings with 11 strikeouts. Outings like this have become the norm for Richards, who now owns a 2.71 ERA and 2.70 FIP in 116 1/3 innings. He is striking out over a batter per inning, but is walking 3.17 hitters per nine innings.
Dallas Keuchel is another surprise performer in 2014. He is 8-5 for the last place Astros, allowing a 3.06 ERA and 3.14 FIP in 108 2/3 innings. While he does not have the strikeout totals of Sale or Richards, Keuchel has cut his walk rate dramatically, resulting in a 3.11 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Keuchel's 2.3 WAR ranks 16th in the American League.
Corey Kluber is arguably the most deserving of the five players in this vote, ranking fourth in the AL with 3.2 WAR. He picked up his eighth win of the season on Sunday, lowering his ERA to 2.86. His 2.65 FIP is third in the league, behind only Hernandez and Sale.
In order to vote for Porcello, you can click here or text "A3" to 89269. Fans can also vote via Twitter in the final six hours of balloting (10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday) by using the hashtag #PickRick.