Earlier this week, there was discussion on 670 the score that caught my attention. The discussion was between Score hosts Connor McKnight and Joe Ostrowski. McKnight and Ostrowski were talking about the Cubs team as a whole, and stumbled upon the discussion of what Cub would represent the team in the All Star game this season. Last season, it was shortstop Starlin Castro. Castro certainly is in line to be a member of the National League All Star team this season, but Ostrowski and McKnight pondered the idea of three Cubs’ players potentially making the All Star game.
Both McKnight and Ostrowski, however, seemed to downplay the idea. As it is unlikely that a team in the Cubs’ position–last place in the National League Central division–would have the honor of having three players take part in the All Star game. But idea does not appear to be too far-fetched when you take a look at the production from the three potential Cubs’ All Stars. Those three players would be starting pitcher Ryan Dempster, first baseman Bryan LaHair, and Castro of course.
Dempster has one loss in six starts this season for the Cubs while producing an ERA of 1.74, a WHIP of 0.97, all while striking out 41 batters. Dempster is among National League leaders in the categories of ERA, FIP, and xFIP. Statistically speaking, Dempster is having a better season than the popular names of Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, and Clayton Kershaw. Unfortunately for Dempster, he has been the victim of poor run support which has resulted in his 0 and 1 record. All Star voting is largely dependent on the average fan, and the poor record may be what keeps Dempster off the All Star team. Nonetheless, when one looks beyond the Dempster’s record it is clear that the starting pitcher has been one of the top three starting pitchers in the National League this season.
Bryan LaHair may be one of the biggest surprises in all of baseball this season. The first baseman is hitting .339/.432/.688 this season to go along with 10 home runs and 21 RBIs. LaHair leads all National League first basemen in home runs, batting average, and slugging percentage. The only first baseman that has produced on the same pace as LaHair would be Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds. If LaHair continues on this pace, or even slightly below, it would be nearly impossible for LaHair to be kept off the team.
Starlin Castro, hitting .322/.338/.421 on the season, is going to be one of the shortstops on the National League All Star team; there is no need to justify Castro’s spot on the National League All Star team.
While it is rare that a team that is in last place in their division has three players that are deserving of an All Star selection; Dempster, LaHair, and Castro are all deserving of such a honor.
Cue the one-liners in 3..2..1
Joe Ricketts, father of Tom, Laura, and Todd, has found himself in some contoversy regarding recent comments made about President Barack Obama. This is not a political forum, so we will not dive into the comments that were made. What should be noted is that Joe Ricketts has no affiliation with the Cubs’ organization–neither on the baseball side nor the business side–in spite of his family owning the team.
Rule V Pick Lendy Castillo was placed on the disabled list with a groin injury. The Cubs needed space in their bullpen, and considering they would risk losing Castillo to the Phillies if the pitcher was optioned, it was a convienent time for Castillo to injure his groin. Scott Maine was recalled from Iowa to take Castillo’s spot in the bullpen.