While Mike Trout was selected for his third All-Star game in three seasons, starting pitcher Garrett Richards was undeservedly snubbed as a starting pitcher. The Angels, who currently sport the third best record in all of baseball, had just one player selected for the All-Star game. Oakland, who lead the Angels by just 3.5 games in the division, had six players picked to the team, something that will sure to be a motivating factor for the Angels in the second half of the season.
In just his third season Mike Trout is putting together yet another incredible season and should be the leader to take home his first MVP trophy. The Angels superstar center fielder is batting .308 with 20 home runs and 63 runs batted in. He’ll start the All-Star game for the second straight year. Trout, who hit a 489 foot home run in Kansas City two weeks ago, decided not to participate in this year’s home run derby, saying he wants to just enjoy the event. He did go on to say that the home run derby will be an option later in his career. Trout will join Adam Jones of the Baltimore Orioles and Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays in the American League outfield.
One of the bigger snubs this season was Angels starting pitcher Garrett Richards, who earned his 10th victory on Sunday with another stellar performance versus the Houston Astros. Richards has an outstanding 2.71 ERA and 119 strikeouts. He’s evolved into one of the better power pitchers in the American League, holding opponents to a .196 average, best in the American League. Yu Darvish, Felix Hernandez, Max Scherzer, Masahiro Tanaka, Jon Lester, David Price, Scott Kazmir and Mark Buehrle were selected over Richards, who’s emerged as a legitimate Cy Young contender. Richards arguably deserved the nod over David Price, but the Tampa Bay Rays needed an All-Star selection and Price earned the nod.
It’s not over yet for Richards, who can make the team as part of the “final five” balloting. Richards will face off against four other American League starters in a banner year for pitching in the AL. Chris Sale of the Chicago White Sox, Rick Porcello of the Detroit Tigers, Dallas Keuchel of the Houston Astros and Corey Kluber of the Cleveland Indians are the others vying for the last spot. For Richards to make it Angels fans will need a big showing in the online balloting. In addition to the final five balloting Richards is an option to be selected to the game should a starter drop out because they’re scheduled to pitch next Sunday. Richards pitches on Friday night versus the Texas Rangers, giving him the fight amount of rest to pitch in Tuesday’s game.
Shortstop Erick Aybar made a solid case for his first All-Star selection. The veteran Angels shortstop is having the best hitting season of his career, to go along with his usual outstanding glove work. Aybar leads all American League shortstops in runs batted in. There was not a backup selected at shortstop. Derek Jeter, who won the fan balloting in his final season, will likely play the entire game at shortstop.
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