Jose Abreu is still undecided for the Home Run Derby, but we know he's going to be around for it one way or another.
Abreu was named a reserve for the American League All-Star team, and he'll be joined by Alexei Ramirez as the White Sox' two All-Star representatives at Target Field on July 15.
Abreu is a no-brainer, tied for the AL lead in homers (27) and leading the league in slugging percentage (.616). He was a steady second behind Miguel Cabrera in the voting at first base, and so his spot was largely uncontested.
Ramirez, a first-time All-Star himself, also ran second behind Derek Jeter at shortstop, but regression brought him a little closer to the rest of the field as the deadline neared. For instance, his numbers are quite similar to Erick Aybar's, so it could've been a coin flip.
- Ramirez: .286/.320/.408, 42 R, 8 HR, 41 RBI, 15 BB, 14 SB over 89 games
- Aybar: .278/.315/.414, 45 R, 6 HR, 43 RBI, 17 BB, 11 SB over 85 games
The notable omission for the White Sox? Chris Sale, who wasn't named to the AL team for the first time in his three years as a starter. He'll have to wait for the results of the Final Vote, as he's one of five pitchers vying for the last spot, competing against Dallas Keuchel, Corey Kluber, Garrett Richards and Rick Porcello.
Sale is 8-1 with a 2.16 ERA, but his innings total appears to be holding him back. The seven starters on the staff have thrown an average of 124 innings, while Sale has thrown just 87⅓ innings. He's second in ERA and first in WHIP, but WAR is a little less clear-cut. He's fourth in the AL according to Baseball-Reference.com (3.8 WAR), but 10th on FanGraphs (2.9). However, he trails only Felix Hernandez in WAR per innings pitched among this crop. Moreover, two pitching spots were used on teams' lone reps -- Jon Lester and David Price.
That said, pitchers who start on Sunday are ineligible to play, and Masahiro Tanaka is one of them. So it's quite possible that Sale will make it on to the team by the time the dust clears, whether or not he wins the Final Vote. You'd think John Farrell would want him as an option to neutralize a lefty or two, at the very least.
Still, the White Sox are in a better position than they were last year, when only Sale and Jesse Crain represented the White Sox. Crain was injurd and didn't pitch ... and he still hasn't pitched, actually.
Sale was active and then some, throwing two perfect innings that usually would've been enough to win the game's MVP award, except it was preordained for Mariano Rivera. At least he made a couple Rockies look silly on strikeouts.
|American League||National League|
|C||Salvador Perez*||Yadier Molina|
|1B||Miguel Cabrera||Paul Goldschmidt|
|2B||Robinson Cano||Chase Utley|
|3B||Josh Donaldson||Aramis Ramirez|
|SS||Derek Jeter||Troy Tulowitzki|
|LF||Jose Bautista||Andrew McCutchen|
|CF||Mike Trout||Carlos Gomez|
|RF||Adam Jones||Yasiel Puig|
(*Starting for Matt Wieters)
American League: Yu Darvish, Max Scherzer, Felix Hernandez, Masahiro Tanaka, Jon Lester, David Price, Scott Kazmir, Mark Buehrle, Sean Doolittle, Greg Holland, Glen Perkins, Dellin Betances.
National League: Johnny Cueto, Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Madison Bumgarner, Adam Wainwright, Tyson Ross, Jordan Zimmermann, Julio Teheran*, Craig Kimbrel, Aroldis Chapman, Francisco Rodriguez, Tony Watson, Pat Neshek
(*Replaces Jeff Samardzija)
American League: Jose Abreu, Alexei Ramirez, Salvador Perez, Victor Martinez, Yoenis Cespedes, Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Altuve, Derek Norris, Kurt Suzuki, Adrian Beltre, Brandon Moss, Alex Gordon, Michael Brantley
National League: Giancarlo Stanton, Jonathan Lucroy, Dee Gordon, Freddie Freeman, Starlin Castro, Todd Frazier, Charlie Blackmon, Hunter Pence, Devin Mesoraco, Daniel Murphy, Josh Harrison, Matt Carpenter
American League: Chris Sale, Dallas Keuchel, Corey Kluber, Garrett Richards, Rick Porcello
National League: Justin Morneau, Anthony Rizzo, Anthony Rendon, Casey McGehee, Justin Upton