Not unlike other league all-star games, the MLB All-Star game always comes with significant criticisms. For whatever reason, the Cleveland Indians players seem to frequently make the list of tragic snubs.
At first count, this year appears no different.
Despite posting the fourth-highest batting average through one-quarter of the season, Jason Kipnis failed to crack the top five in All-Star Game voting. Kipnis has hit as well as anyone in the league this season, batting a position-best .337 with 13 doubles, four home runs and 21 RBIs. He leads all AL second basemen in hits (61), runs (61), on-base percentage (.408), doubles (13) and triples (3).
Despite all that, however, Kipnis was unable to crack even the top five at the position at the first count of All-Star Game voting. Jose Altuve (.299 average), Omar Infante (.250), Ian Kinsler (.282), Devin Travis (.271) Dustin Pedroia (.286) all came in ahead of the Tribe’s 28-year-old second baseman.
Kipnis deserves to start. Plain and simple. There’s just no two ways about it. He has been far and away the best second baseman in the league this season and should be rewarded for that success. (Make it happen, Cleveland).
Not surprisingly, Michael Brantley was the only other member of the Indians to crack the top count at their respective position. Brantley, who is hitting .315 with four home runs and 27 RBIs this season, comes in at No. 9 in the voting. What is surprising, though, is the idea that three Kansas City Royals – one who is hitting .271 and another who’s played just seven games – have significantly more votes than Brantley.
We all know All-Star voting is a joke. It’s a popularity contest and rarely reflects the most productive lineups, but the results are still a bit surprising. The Royals have five players currently in line to start – Salvador Perez, Alcides Escobar, Mike Moustakas, Alex Gordon and Lorenzo Cain – and another four players among the top at their position.
That can’t happen.
What’s the lesson here? Fans, get your votes in for both Kipnis and Brantley to ensure neither player joins the list of Cleveland’s latest All-Star snubs.
Go to MLB.com/vote now to do your part in making the Tribe’s dynamic duo #ASGWorthy this season.