10 worthy players left out of MLB All-Star game

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Pittsburgh Pirate Andrew McCutchen follows through on a double to right field against the Washington Nationals. McCutchen has 12 home runs and 46 RBIs on .294 hitting this season.

Photo Credit: The Associated Press

Being an All-Star is one of the highest honors a baseball player can receive. It may only account for one’s first-half performance, but at the end of a career, the number of All-Star squads a player makes is used as a barometer to help measure their greatness. After all, baseball is a numbers game, which is what makes it so bewildering that these players didn’t make the cut for this year’s All-Star game.

1. Tommy Hanson – This is the player whose absence in the list of All-Star Game rosters is most baffling. Hanson has the MLB’s ninth-best ERA (2.52), third-best batting average against and third-best hits allowed per nine innings (6.17). His 1.04 WHIP is good for 12th and only five pitchers have more wins than Hanson, who has 10.

2. Paul Konerko – Usually 21 home runs, 62 RBIs and a .319 batting average would get you into the All-Star Game. But it wasn't enough for Konerko who was left off the American League roster due to heavy competition from Adrian Gonzalez and Miguel Cabrera. Konerko may still get in as he gained an early lead in the AL’s Final Vote.

3. Andrew McCutchen – This Pirates outfielder is an incredible blend of power and speed as McCutchen has knocked over 12 home runs and stolen 15 bases so far. Pittsburgh’s closer, Joel Hanrahan, definitely deserves to be an All-Star as he’s converted each of his 25 save opportunities, but there’s no rule that says Pittsburgh can’t have multiple All-Stars.

4. C.C. Sabathia – Nobody has more wins than this Yankees ace, and even though almost all of his infield will make the trip to Phoenix, he deserves to be joining them. Sabathia has long been considered to be one of the best hurlers in the game, even before he began enjoying the benefits of playing for the most storied franchise in baseball.

5. Jhonny Peralta – It’s bad enough Derek Jeter is slated to be the American League’s starting shortstop in this year’s Midsummer Classic, but the fact that Peralta isn’t backing him up there is a mistake. Peralta is the only American League shortstop hitting over .300 and has just as many home runs and RBIs as the guy actually backing Jeter up at the All-Star game; Cleveland’s Asdrubal Cabrera.

6. Mark Teixeira – Teixeira’s .244 batting average is subpar, but only Jose Bautista has more home runs (Teixeira has 25) and there are only three players who have more RBIs than Teixeira’s 65. Six of his teammates made the All-Star team and four of them are starting, but Teixeira is just as deserving as any of them.

7. Francisco Cordero – Cordero’s 17 saves won’t blow anyone away, but his microscopic 1.49 ERA, .085 WHIP and the .160 batting average opposing hitters have against Cordero should. Cincinnati’s closer is a big reason they’re in contention for the NL Central crown and should have a chance to suit up in the All-Star game for the NL.

8. Huston Street – Only three pitchers have more saves than this former Longhorn, who has converted 24 of his 26 save opportunities. Unfortunately for Street, each of those three closers (Heath Bell, Joel Hanrahan, Craig Kimbrel) pitch for NL teams. Regardless, someone as reliable as Street deserves a spot on the All-Star team.

9. Jon Lester – Boston’s ace is one of five AL pitchers to win at least 10 games in the first half of the season. Despite playing in a big media market, playing for a team on pace to reach the postseason and putting up solid numbers, Lester finds himself without an invitation to the Midsummer Classic.

10. Chase Headley – The San Diego third baseman has flown under the radar this season, with not many people paying attention to the Padres. Headley’s .306 batting average and .394 on-base percentage don’t seem too impressive, but both of those numbers lead all third baseman. Maybe if he played for the two-time defending National League champion Philadelphia Phillies like Placido Polanco, the NL’s starting third baseman, he would have made it.