Originally written July 01, 2012 on Fantasy Baseball 365:
Dusty Baker and Joey Votto were not pleased that teammates Johnny Cueto and Brandon Phillips were not selected to the National League All Star roster that Tony La Russa selected. Let's look first at the case of Cueto. Here is how he stacks up with the other starting pitchers on the roster:

Player ERA WHIP Strikeouts Wins Cueto 2.26 1.14 79 9 Matt Cain 2.53 0.95 114 9 R.A. Dickey 2.15 0.89 116 12 Gio Gonzalez 2.78 1.08 108 10 Cole Hamels 3.08 1.10 111 10 Lance Lynn 3.62 1.25 98 10 Wade Miley 2.87 1.06 66 9 Stephen Strasburg 2.81 1.08 122 9 Clayton Kershaw 2.74 1.04 103 5
 It is pretty obvious that just looking at the roster, Cueto has a case over Lynn and Wade Miley. That said, La Russa could have just as easily picked a pitcher such as Zack Greinke (first in WAR and FIP among NL starters) or Madison Bumgarner (more wins, strikeouts, and a better WHIP than Cueto). La Russa also took Miley probably because there were no other representatives from the Diamondbacks. The story naturally becomes La Russa versus the Reds and La Russa versus Cueto, but without the recent history of the two sides the issue in play would just as easily be why does every team need a representative or when are we going to start placing more emphasis on the stats of this era? 

Then there's the case of Phillips. Dan Uggla was elected the starter. It's a disgrace. Uggla is hitting below .240 and striking out more than once a game. Again though, this is something that is out of La Russa's hands. It's a separate issue of how much should the fans input matter (if at all) in selecting All-Stars. Jose Aluve was picked as the reserve. By fantasy standards he has been the second best second baseman in the NL. Obviously fantasy standards don't necessarily make all stars, but there should be a strong correlation. He has the best average among second basemen and just like Miley is the lone representative from his team. Here are the numbers of the two second basemen versus Phillips.

  Player Runs RBI AVG HR OPS Phillips 42 46 .288 10 .776 Uggla 51 43 .235 11 .777 Altuve 45 23 .309 5 .804 The matchup between Altuve and Phillips is close anyway, so when you consider the fact that the Astros need a rep, La Russa's choice isn't so flawed. And this whole argument does not even include Aaron Hill who has the best OPS of any NL second basemen. Dusty Baker and the rest of the Reds should keep quiet. La Russa and the Cardinals won the World Series last year and won the right to make these decisions. Instead of complaining, the Reds should do something they have not done since 1990 - win a playoff game. 

  • A future Reds All-Star (possibly second baseman) Billy Hamilton now has 98 steals in under 80 minor league games this season.
  • Dee Gordon stole three bases Sunday and now has 28 for the year. That is easily the most among NL shortstops. He is also hitting .228.  
  • Carlos Lee wasn't traded to Gordon's team over the weekend and for the next month is sure to be the subject of another rumor or two. Lee can block trades to 14 different teams.
  • Bartolo Colon should come off the DL to start Tuesday for Oakland. 
  • Ben Sheets was signed to a minor league deal by the Braves and it sounds very similar to the Jim Morris story that the movie The Rookie came from. 
  • The Phillies are asking for four to five prospects in return for Cole Hamels if they can't sign him to a long term deal.
  • Now that Yasmani Grandal is up with the Padres, Jedd Gyorko could be the next player to get a call up and also may be the team's best prospect in the minors currently. 
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