Last night after the Cardinals’ disappointing loss to the Marlins, the MLB announced the 2014 NL and Al All-Star rosters, as chosen by the fans, the players, and our own Mike Matheny and the Red Sox’s John Farrel. When it was all said and done, the fans voted Cards’ catcher Yadier Molina as a starter and the players picked Adam Wainwright as one of the top five starting pitchers in the league. However, Matheny was left with 8 more spots on the roster, and he deservingly picked two of his own. I don’t think anyone will argue against Pat Neshek‘s inclusion in the game as the sidearm reliever has been lights out all year long. Neshek has a 0.77 ERA and a 0.57 WHIP in 35 innings pitched, stats that a simply mind-boggling for a guy who was only given a minor league contract at the beginning of the year. Matt Carpenter was a bit more of an iffy selection with Anthony Rendon of the Nationals also very deserving, but Carpenter has hit .282/.375/.388 this year, and he plays excellent defense at third base for the Cards.
In one of Matheny’s more surprising choices, Reds’ catcher Devin Mesoraco was added to the roster by the Cardinals’ skipper. While Mesoraco has certainly earned the honors with a fantastic start to 2014, the years-old Reds-Cardinals feud figured to sway Matheny towards leaving him off the roster. However, the feud has simmered down in recent years as Chris Carpenter has retired and Scott Rolen has moved on, but there is still no love lost between these teams. Kudos to Matheny for putting it behind him to pick a deserving player. The other three Reds on the team were all chosen by the player vote.
As a result of possibly the first smear campaign in the history of the All-Star game, Yadier Molina prevailed over the Brewers’ Jonathan Lucroy to earn the starting nod. The Brewers media department issued the now infamous campaign for Lucroy that lists his many accomplishments including, “He’s not a Cardinal.” Well the scoreboard shows that more people appreciate the Cardinal Way than don’t, sorry Lucroy. The Brewers still had four players named to the team including two starters; Aramis Ramirez at third base and Carlos Gomez in the outfield. Lucroy was voted into the game by the players, as was closer Francisco Rodriguez.
Overall, four teams each had four players named to the team: the Cardinals, Reds, Brewers, and Dodgers. This parity of All-Star selections shows not only how there isn’t one premier team in the National League, but also how unbelievably stacked the NL Central is. The second half of the season will certainly be an exacting one and could very well see four teams neck in neck all the way to the finish.
The All-Star game will take place Tuesday, July 15 at Target Field in Minneapolis. It will also be nationally broadcasted on FOX.