Denver, CO – The All Star teams have been announced for the 83rd Summer Classic, and the obvious local choice became official, as Carlos Gonzalez will represent our Rockies next week in Kansas City. He has had a fantastic year, currently in the top 10 in most offensive categories in the National League. His sweet left-handed swing is one of the few reasons to tune in to watch an otherwise underperforming team. CarGo is a terrific talent, who at times can be as streaky as anyone in the game. He was named an All-Star reserve, and will also participate in the Home Run Derby next Monday, which may ultimately open the nations eyes to his long ball capabilities. However, today my colleague “Kris Loco” is pushing for Gonzalez to get the All-Star game start in place of injured Dodger Matt Kemp. Like him, I am a Rockies fan at heart, but Gonzalez should not get the starting nod, and I will tell ya why.
The numbers are there, and he has really done all he can for a Rockies team with the third worst record in baseball. We know the pitching problems, as it has been disastrous all season. The offense has been very good though, and he has been a stud especially with Troy Tulowitzki being out of the lineup. Gonzalez can make a case for being named the replacement for Matt Kemp, who has been out for several weeks with an injured hamstring. But one thing “Kris Loco” did not touch on, was in order for CarGo to be a starter, you have to remove another player or put him ahead of other deserving candidates as well. You can’t just say, “Gonzalez deserves to start”. The three outfielders who were voted in are Kemp, Melky Cabrera (SF), and Carlos Beltran (STL). Beltran and Cabrera are great picks, and are having fabulous seasons for teams who are in the hunt. My pick to replace Kemp in the starting lineup would be Andrew McCutchen of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Because he plays in Pittsburgh, he is very much under the radar. However, his numbers are very similar to CarGo’s, but his team is a lot better and just 1 game behind first place Cincinnati. McCutchen is hitting .346, compared to CarGo’s .337. They both have the same number of hits, 97. McCutchen has 15 HR’s and 51 RBI, CarGo has 17 HR and 58 RBI. McCutchen has 14 SB, compared to 10 for CarGo. Their BB’s and SO’s are almost identical as well. McCutchen plays CF, which is the most demanding defensive outfield position of all, compared to Gonzalez playing left field. That defensive difference, and again the fact that he is the main offensive reason behind a 42-36 Pirates squad, the choice to replace Matt Kemp should be Andrew McCutchen.
Carlos Gonzalez is a player who is a true joy to watch. He can do it all….hit, hit for power, run, plays good defense, and has a great arm. This All-Star selection should be the first of many for a player who is just entering his prime. He absolutely deserves to be in Kansas City next week, and he has a chance to take the baseball world by storm in the Home Run Derby. His beautiful swing is so smooth and effortless, and he has a real shot at winning the triple crown at some point in the future. CarGo is maybe the only reason to watch this Rockies team for the next three months, but an All-Star starter he should not be. Not this year, anyway.
Denver Sports by J Simp