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Potential Cardinals All-Star picks

All-Star

It’s been a rough first half of the year for St. Louis. They’ve been through some fairly high highs and some really low lows. They are on one of the lows at the moment, but that doesn’t mean there haven’t been a few guys worthy of being considered for the All-Star game. The Cardinals’ All-Stars might not come via the fan vote this season, but either way, someone will be representing them in Washington.

Hitters

Yadier Molina

The Cards’ 35-year old veteran catcher hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down this season. He’s been in a bit of a slump lately, aside from Monday night’s game, but overall Yadi has had a very nice season.

Despite missing a month due to an unfortunate injury, Molina has the home run lead among National League catchers with 12. He also ranks fourth in RBI with 35.

On the defensive side, Yadi remains on an elite level. He has shut down the running game this year, just by being behind the plate. Molina has only thrown out four runners, but he’s also only had 14 attempts. That’s the lowest amount of stolen base attempts against any NL catcher with 40 or more games played. The only guys running on Yadi are the ones with huge jumps or really good speed, sometimes both.

Molina will likely lose the popularity contest that is the All-Star voting to guys in bigger markets like Buster Posey and Wilson Contreras, despite being more deserving. However, it is likely that Molina could be a manager’s pick as a back up to Posey.

Jose Martinez

Martinez has been the Cardinals’ savior on offense this season. If it weren’t for him they might be even farther behind than what they already are. Unfortunately, he would probably average two errors a game as a designated hitter. That may be an exaggeration, but his defense lacks a lot to be desired.

His offensive numbers don’t lie though. Martinez has 13 home runs this season, 17 doubles and leads the Cardinals with 52 RBI. That RBI mark is also good enough for 10th on the senior circuit. Jose also ranks third among National League first basemen with a .298 average. His .366 OBP ranks fifth and his .495 SLG ranks fourth.

Jose is another guy who won’t get the fan vote, though for more legitimate reasoning. There are a lot of better options at first base in the NL, like Freddie Freeman, Brandon Belt and Joey Votto. Martinez still has All-Star numbers though and could be the managers pick from the Cardinals if it isn’t Molina.

Matt Carpenter

Carpenter had a terrible start to the season. On May 15th, Carp had a slash line of .140/.286/.272 with three home runs and 13 RBI. He has since turned things around though.

Going into Tuesday night’s game, Carpenter is slashing .255/.361/.500 with 15 home runs and 36 RBI. His 15 homers rank fifth among NL third baseman, his OPS and SLG rank fourth and his 47 walks lead all senior circuit third basemen.

Like the other position players on the list, Carpenter won’t be voted in by the fans as a starter. There’s a very slim chance he could be selected as a reserve, though, given how he’s hit since June started and his above-average defense this season.

Pitchers

Miles Mikolas

Miles Mikolas has pitched like an All-Star all season. He’s been a weapon for the Cardinals every fifth day and the numbers back it up.

Mikolas ranks fifth in the NL with eight wins, seventh in ERA with a 2.61 and sixth in innings pitched at 103.1. Miles also has the second-best WHIP in the NL among qualifying starters and has allowed fewer walks, at 13, than any pitcher with 84 or more innings pitched.

Managers select all pitchers, so Mikolas has a good chance to get in as a reserve. He is definitely deserving of an All-Star nod, but it’s up to opposing managers to make the final decision.

Jordan Hicks

The young fireballer Jordan Hicks has turned heads this season with his overpowering fastball. Lately, though, his slider has been turning heads as well. Hicks is figuring out how to mix in his breaking pitch to effectively strike out batters.

Hicks has been the Cardinals best arm out of the pen and one of the most effective relievers in the National League. He has a 3-1 record and ranks sixth among NL relievers with 42.2 innings, and sixth among NL relievers with 40 or more innings pitched in ERA at 2.53.

Though it’s a long shot, as it is for most of the other names on this list, Hicks does have a chance to make the Midsummer Classic as a reserve. Again, the managers pick all pitchers and, like Mikolas, Hicks hasn’t gone unnoticed this season.

Cardinals All-Star Picks

Unfortunately, if it weren’t for the rule that mandates one All-Star from each team, the Cardinals might miss the game altogether. The rule does stand though, which means at least one Redbird will get to go to Washington to represent the team.

Yadier Molina seems to have the best chance as a position player. If he isn’t selected, Mikolas will probably get the nod, even though he might not pitch.

The fact that there are no guarantees on this Cardinal team should be a wake-up call to the front office. It should highlight the fact that this team has a roster problem and that things need to change. Whether they do or not remains to be seen. A change could come either at the trade deadline or during next offseason but it needs to come at some point.

 

Featured Image by Dilip Vishwanat – GettyImages

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