If Chris Sale had not spent time on the disabled list during the 2014 season, he would be on the list of candidates to start the 2014 MLB All-Star Game for the American League. The way he has been throwing the ball he very well might have topped the list.
Even with some starts missed while on the DL, Sale is 8-1 with a 2.16 ERA and 9.9 K/9. He remains one of the most dominant pitchers in all of baseball. It is nothing against the resumes of the any of the other four starting pitchers up for the final vote in the American League when I say that it is simply not fair that they have to go up against Sale.
These final votes can be difficult to choose, but in this case the clear choice is Sale, even over these four guys and their outstanding seasons. Here is the full list of candidates.
All of the guys who make up the rest of the list have been pleasant surprises and key pitchers for their teams this season. Kluber will be the focus of a number of impassioned pleas for a spot, including one by this scribe in his initial reactions to the team. But to turn any of the other pitchers away is to turn away some of the top guys in the league in terms of traditional measures (wins, ERA) as well as advanced metrics (FIP, ERA+, etc).
This would be a really tough choice if Sale weren’t on the list. That makes it easy. Or does it? Sound off in the comments with who the selection should be in the final vote for the American League, which runs through Tuesday on MLB.com.