Admittedly, everyone involved in this web site — meaning the readers and me — are biased towards the Mets and their players. But you would be hard pressed to find anyone, even Mets haters, who would not classify Mike Pelfrey being left off the All Star roster as a major snub.
Pelfrey is 10-2 (third most wins in the NL) with a 2.93 ERA (tied for 10th) and 66 strikeouts. That’s pretty darned good. So how could he have possibly been left off? Well, here are the pitchers selected on the players ballot, who are automatically on the team:
— Ubaldo Jimenez
— Roy Halladay
— Josh Johnson
— Tim Lincecum
— Adam Wainwright
— Matt Capps
— Brian Wilson
— Jonathan Broxton
From there, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel got together with the league to pick the following pitchers to round out the staff:
— Chris Carpenter
— Yovani Gallardo
— Tim Hudson
— Evan Meek
— Arthur Rhodes
Okay, let’s look at whether any of these guys should have gotten the nod over Pelfrey:
— Carpenter is 9-2 with a 3.16 ERA, all inferior to Pelfrey. But he is tenth in the league with 105 strikeouts. That kind of evens him out with Pelfrey, so you could make the argument that Carpenter is deserving.
— Gallardo is 8-3, 2.56, but is second in the league with 120 strikeouts. Again, he is arguably deserving over Pelfrey, but not by much.
— Now to Hudson, and this is where the problems start. Hudson is 8-3, 2.57 with 51 strikeouts. I think Pelfrey’s two more wins, one fewer loss and 15 more Ks make up for Pelfrey’s slightly higher ERA. And Hudson didn’t have to be picked — three other Braves are on the team.
— Meek is the Pirates’ lone representative, so that was mandatory.
— Rhodes is having a fine season as a middle reliever — he’s got a 1.09 ERA, with 32 strikeouts in 33 innings. It’s nice to recognize a middle reliever, but not at the expense of a starter who is truly deserving like Pelfrey (not to mention Mat Latos, Carlos Silva and Jaime Garcia). And it’s not like Rhodes had to be picked — two other Reds are on the roster.
I really don’t know how to explain this. Could it be an anti-Mets bias on the part of Charlie Manuel? He did not choose the two Mets who did make the team. David Wright was voted in as a starter, and Jose Reyes is an injury replacement for Troy Tulowitzki on the players ballot (Reyes was the second choice by the players, so he gets the nod automatically). I can see him wanting to thumb his nose at the Mets at every chance he gets, and leaving Pelfrey off the roster certainly accomplishes that goal.
Pelfrey isn’t even on the ballot for the final spot, to be picked by the fans (nor is Andy Pettitte — another huge snub on the AL ballot). I never understood how they compiled that list. It should be “the five guys who should have made it.” Instead, there are usually a few of those (Heath Bell, Billy Wagner, Joey Votto this year), and then guys having good, but rather ordinary seasons (Ryan Zimmerman, Carlos Gonzalez).
Pelfrey can still be added to the team if someone gets injured, or one of the starters pitches on the Sunday before All Star game (that’s a new rule). So there’s still hope we will see Pelfrey in Anaheim, as we should be.