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Tuesday Rockpile: Who Will Be Colorado's All-Star(s)?

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It is looking as if Tulo might be Colorado's only All-Star in 2011.
It is looking as if Tulo might be Colorado's only All-Star in 2011.

The All-Star Game will take place exactly three weeks from today, and in-stadium voting has already ended at 11 of 16 NL stadiums. We should have a pretty decent idea of who the Rockies will send to Phoenix to represent the purple pinstripes in the battle for World Series home field advantage. I currently see only one Rockie getting the honor - here is how I see it:

Locks

Troy Tulowitzki - SS

The Rockies' clean-up hitter has been a relative disappointment, but he remains a man among boys at his position, still legitimately deserving to be an All-Star. He is a distant second to Jose Reyes in WAR, wRC+ and slugging percentage among NL shortstops, but he leads all MLB shortstops in UZR and ISO. At last count, Tulo was projected to be the NL's starting shortstop via the fan vote by over 400,000 votes, a margin he should hold barring a massive collapse in the next couple weeks. At worst, he would be selected as a reserve.

Likely Snubs

Every team has at least one All-Star by rule, so the multiple selections are harder to come by. This rule might directly affect the Rockies most via the Florida Marlins, ironically. With Florida's horrible record, they will likely send just one representative, with that player likely blocking a potential Rockie All-Star.

Jhoulys Chacin - RH SP

Tonight's starting pitcher owns the NL's 8th best ERA and 2nd best ERA+. He's 3rd in the NL in LD%, 1st in GB%, and 4th in rWAR. He certainly has an All-Star resume, but he isn't even mentioned as a potential snub by Jeff Passan. It isn't because Passan is a pusbucket (not totally); there is just that much good pitching in the National League, and when in doubt, Bruce Bochy is likely to select a "safer" name fans recognize. As for the Marlins tie, Anibal Sanchez (6-1, 3.02 ERA, 10th in fWAR) is probably deserving, and his selection to one of the fringe spots could block Jhoulys Chacin if Anibal is Florida's lone representative.

Todd Helton - 1B

The ToddFather is having a marvelous, surprising season, but first base is an incredibly stacked position, especially in the National League. Prince Fielder and Joey Votto are going for sure. The squad would employ two or maybe three first basemen, but not four. With Albert Pujols injured, there is one potential opening. Here's the Marlins' connection again - Gaby Sanchez has been better than Helton, and if Gaby makes it instead of Anibal, there will be no Helton. Their lines are incredibly similar: Gaby - .304/.382/.500 vs Todd - .311/.389/.505, but park adjustments gives Gaby the boost. It would be a nice story for Helton to be an All-Star, but he is facing difficult odds.

Huston Street - RH RP

He currently leads all MLB pitchers in saves, is 3rd in BB rate and 3rd in K/BB. It's a solid resume, one which might entice the National League staff to include him. Still, Street has given up way too many home runs, and his ERA/FIP hardly screams "All-Star." If he makes it to the NL bullpen, it is saves that will carry him there. I'm rather dubious on that front.

Off Topic

Dark Horses

Carlos Gonzalez - OF

On Opening Day, CarGo likely had a spot with his name written on it in pencil, but his struggles in April find him just 12th, even behind Raul Ibanez. He has no prayer of making the top 3 in fan voting, so his inclusion would come solely from management selection. If he continues his current hot streak but adds several home runs, he might stand a chance of leapfrogging some undeserving players ahead of him in the fan vote.

Chris Iannetta - C

Iannetta really doesn't stand a chance of going to Phoenix, even after Buster Posey's injury. His rate stats are fantastic - he's 1st in the NL in OBP, wOBA and ISO. His counting stats aren't bad either - 2nd in HR and R and 3rd in fWAR. Frankly, the only thing keeping him from deserving an All-Star nod outright is the Rockies' treatment of his playing time. Brian McCann and Miguel Montero will be the All-Stars, and deservedly so.

 

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