The American League voting for the MLB All-Star Game allows teams to select a starting designated hitter. The fans voted for a worthy candidate indeed, as they selected Nelson Cruz of the Baltimore Orioles for that spot.
That said, the thought of Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu in that DH spot is awfully intriguing. Instead he will just have to serve as a reserve along with a number of worthy players, especially Victor Martinez of the Detroit Tigers and Alex Gordon of the Kansas City Royals.
Here is the complete list of American League reserves:
C – Derek Norris, Oakland Athletics
C – Kurt Suzuki, Minnesota Twins
C – Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals (will start)
1B – Jose Abreu, Chicago White Sox
1B – Edwin Encarnacion, Toronto Blue Jays
1B – Brandon Moss, Oakland Athletics
2B – Jose Altuve, Houston Astros
SS – Alexei Ramirez, Chicago White Sox
3B – Adrian Beltre, Texas Rangers
OF – Michael Brantley, Cleveland Indians
OF – Yoenis Cespedes, Oakland Athletics
OF – Alex Gordon, Kansas City Royals
DH – Victor Martinez, Detroit Tigers
It is only appropriate that the A’s have so many representatives on the bench during a season in which they are bludgeoning the rest of the American League with the depth of their lineup. There will certainly be a spotlight on Ramirez at shortstop, as he will likely play the bulk of the innings in this game at one of the most important positions on the field.
Suzuki gets the nod for the hometown Twins; that is a nice story but it is not short on depressing irony. If you had told Twins fans a couple years ago that the 2014 All-Star Game would be in Minneapolis and that a Twins catcher would appear, they would have automatically thought of hometown hero Joe Mauer. Instead it is Suzuki while Mauer, now a first baseman, will stay home with an oblique injury.
What do you think of the AL reserves? Sound off in the comments section with your thoughts.