Originally written on Pirates Prospects  |  Last updated 11/14/14
Andrew McCutchen has the numbers that would warrant his third trip to the All-Star Game. I don’t usually follow the All-Star Game that much. Part of that is probably because there hasn’t been much reason to follow the game from the Pirates perspective. Honestly it’s also a nice 2-3 day period where I can relax in the middle of the marathon season, because there’s no games that count. Well, except for the All-Star Game. It counts. It shouldn’t count for anything, but once upon a time the All-Star Game ended in a tie, and to solve the “What happens if we run out of pitchers again” problem, Bud Selig decided to have the All-Star Game determine home field advantage in the World Series. That’s like if you had a problem where the All-Star Game ended in a tie, and you decided to solve the problem by having the game determine home field advantage in the World Series. I’d try to come up with a different metaphor, but I can’t think of anything as absurd as that. This year the All-Star Game is interesting for Pirates fans. The Pirates don’t have many players who are in contention to be voted in as a starter. Andrew McCutchen was sixth among NL outfielders in the last voting update. Voting ended today, and the rosters will be announced Saturday. Unless McCutchen received a late surge, it’s doubtful he would make it as a starter. If he’s not voted in, McCutchen should make it. He currently ranks 4th in WAR in the NL. All-Star spots aren’t usually determined by WAR. But among NL outfielders, McCutchen ranks 7th in RBIs, 4th in stolen bases, sixth in batting average, fourth in OBP, and 12th in slugging percentage. He’s not dominating any one stat, but he’s good all around and that should earn him a spot on the team. Well, being the 4th most valuable hitter in the NL should earn him the spot, but the other stats will probably do. After McCutchen, we start to get into unfamiliar territory for the Pirates. There are several players who deserve to be All-Stars. Consider the following: **Pedro Alvarez ranks 4th among NL third basemen in WAR, but he’s first in homers and RBIs. He’s also third in the NL in homers. David Wright will probably be voted in, and Matt Carpenter deserves it more than Alvarez as the backup. However, if there are three third basemen, Alvarez deserves the third spot. **The lowest ERA among starting pitchers in the NL belongs to Clayton Kershaw. That’s not a surprise. The second lowest ERA belongs to Jeff Locke, which has been a surprise. The top five pitchers in ERA are: Kershaw, Locke, Adam Wainwright, Stephen Strasburg, and Matt Harvey. Normally when we talk about Locke’s numbers, we compare them to the FIP numbers. However, for these purposes, ERA is what Locke has done, and the All-Star spots only consider that aspect. I can’t see how Locke would be excluded from the game due to his numbers, especially when those other four starters seem like locks themselves. **I apologize for that last pun. **You know what? No I don’t. **Who are the two most valuable relievers in the NL this year? Jason Grilli and Mark Melancon. Grilli leads all NL closers in saves with 28. I’m guessing the saves leader usually makes the All-Star Game. Melancon would have a tougher time making the team. Out of 76 qualified NL relievers, he has the best ERA with an unreal 0.87 mark. What’s even more impressive about that is he ranks 9th in innings out of that group. He also ranks 7th in strikeouts. There’s no reason why Melancon shouldn’t make the team based on performance. However, it’s usually tougher for setup men to make the All-Star team, even if they have been the best reliever in the league. I could see McCutchen, Locke, and Grilli making the team for sure. You could argue that Alvarez and Melancon deserve spots as well. And if Alvarez makes it, you could argue that he should be in the home run derby. As an honorable mention, Russell Martin is also deserving, as he ranks third among NL catchers in WAR, and has been huge for the Pirates this year. The Pirates had three representatives in 2011 and two in 2012. There’s a chance they could match those totals combined in 2013. And why shouldn’t they? The Pirates are currently the best team in baseball, and the reason they have that record is because the above guys are some of the best in the game at their positions. Even if the Pirates don’t get five players selected to the All-Star Game, it’s nice to know that they have at least five guys who are more than worthy of roster spots. Links and Notes **Download the newest episode of the Pirates Prospects Podcast: P3 Episode 12: Prospect Analysis on Jameson Taillon, Luis Heredia, and Tyler Glasnow. Also includes an interview with 2013 first round pick Reese McGuire. **The newest episode of the Pirates Roundtable is up. This week we had Jim Rosati from North Side Notch, Ed Giles from In Clemente Weather, and David Manel of Bucs Dugout stopped by. **2013 Pittsburgh Pirates Draft Pick Signing Tracker. **2013 Pittsburgh Pirates International Signing Tracker. Prospects **Prospect Watch: Four Hit Game For Reese McGuire In Debut. **DSL Prospect Watch: Pirates Drop Mets and Reds. **Minor League Schedule: Sandfort Makes First Start. **Pirates Sign Seven More International Players. **Minor Moves: Pirates Release Avila and Herrand; Hanson to the DL. **Minor Moves: Pirates Release Three More Minor Leaguers. Pirates **Phillies Use Four-Run Inning off Cole, Mazzaro to Beat Bucs.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Report: Giants ‘considering a run’ at Ndamukong Suh

Darnell Dockett reportedly visiting 49ers on Tuesday

David West on Brian Shaw being fired: ‘That’s bulls–t'

Hamels trade talk motivating Red Sox pitching staff

Spiller: EJ Manuel learned not to be 'buddy buddy' with everyone


Yankees fire employee over Curt Schilling's daughter tweets

Ravens settle grievance, pay Ray Rice $1.6 million

A-Rod goes 0-2 against Yankees pitching machine 'Iron Mike'

Redick: Flip Saunders told me to ‘shut the f— up’ three times

Ohio native Brian Hartline to visit Browns today

Report: Jets owner urging team to pursue Darrelle Revis

Trying to solve the Alex Guerrero problem

Mets to host families of slain NYPD officers at spring training

Teams that should be on NCAA Tourney upset alert

SpongeBob SquarePants: The newest NASCAR race sponsor

Winners and losers of the NHL trade deadline

Andrew Luck shaved beard, left mustache

Museum to give away DeLorean if Cubs win World Series

Jameis Winston looking to trademark 'Famous Jameis'

Maple Leafs burned on Twitter by frustrated fan

Keith Olbermann putting an end to his Twitter 'batting practice'

Prospect receives 75 cent check from Yankees

Flores: If Nick Young takes a shot at me, he's going to miss

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Spiller: EJ Manuel learned not to be 'buddy buddy' with everyone

Ten most underrated NFL free agents

Five potential landing spots for Andre Johnson

Texas-Baylor fight leads to 7 ejections

Mark Cuban will be Prez in 'Sharknado 3'

Report: Redskins interested in Suh

Report: Revis likely to hit free agency

Steve Spurrier joins Twitter

MJ makes Forbes billionaire list

Nick Young fires back at Robert Flores

Sad LeBron literally looks in mirror after loss to Rockets

MLS 2015 season preview

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.