Thursday, June 27, 2013

Keith Law tabs two Reds as 'real All-Stars'


Believe it or not, the All-Star Game is less than three weeks away, which means fan voting for the star-studded event will be nearing a close soon.

The debate about which players deserve to play in the game will likely rage on well after the voting results have been released. It's just a matter of opinion, and fans being fans, I suppose.

But one baseball expert has already chosen his All-Star squads for the annual game. This expert is ESPN's Keith Law and he recently took the time to build lineups for both leagues in which he felt gave each team the best chance to win the game.

Two Reds appeared on his roster for the National League: 1B Joey Votto and LHP Aroldis Chapman. Law writes that he would start Votto at first base and bat him second in the order. On the other hand, Law likes Chapman to be the team's token reliever out of the bullpen.

What he had to say about Votto:

Not only would Votto be my first baseman, he'd bat second, which might be a shocking experience for him. For Paul Goldschmidt partisans, bear in mind that Votto has outhit him this year and has a long track record of performing at this level. 

What he had to say about Chapman:

If we were strictly looking at one-inning usage, I would probably take Craig Kimbrel, but I feel better about stretching out Chapman -- a former starter who would probably still be a starter if we lived in a world where everyone realized that starters are more important than one-inning closers -- for more than three outs if necessary. The NL is loaded with high-strikeout relievers, far more so than the AL, with these two guys and Kenley Jansen all posting incredible strikeout rates.

Both players figure to have an excellent shot at making the real rosters when they are announced in the next couple of weeks, especially Votto who currently leads all NL first basemen in voting.

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