It’s expected for the Astros to only have one All-Star representative again this season. Before the season started, everyone just assumed that would be second baseman Jose Altuve again. While he is certainly deserving, a case could be made for a few guys from the Astros. This week the Climbing Tal’s Hill writers and editors will make our case for five Astros players to take that spot. Yesterday, Ray Kuhn made his case for Bud Norris, and John Burgess made his case for Jason Castro on Monday. After Greg Thurston argues for his candidate on Friday, we want you, the Hill Climbers, to select your All-Star on our poll.
Note: All these stats were prior to Tuesday’s games.
many few options to represent the Astros, it will likely come down to at most five candidates to go to New York City. My choice to represent the Houston Astros is Jose Veras. Veras is not likely to be chosen as the Astros representative, but there is a case to be made.
If I were the AL manager I’d probably choose Jason Castro if the roster works out well enough, but it’s possible Jose Veras is chosen.
When Veras signed with the Astros for $1.85 million, many fans weren’t expecting much. The best case scenario was likely what we are seeing now. Up-to-date, Veras has thrown 31 innings with a 4.06 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, and a .200 BAA. His career numbers are; 4.06 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, and a .207 BAA.
There are usually two reasons why players are put on All-Star teams. Either they are the best at their position in their league, or they are the best option for the rule that requires each team to be represented based on the All-Star team’s roster. If Veras is selected, he would be making the team based on that
rule. Would Astros fans complain if Veras was selected? We may find out in a few weeks.
Both the NL and AL teams usually hold five relievers on their roster. Sometimes they don’t all play, but it’s usually the top five best closers. However, sometimes a reliever or two sneak in from a team that needs a representative. This is why I believe Jose Veras can be chosen as the Astros All-Star.
When looking through the AL relievers, there are several relievers who deserve to be selected. If we assume there will be five relievers chosen, it seems to be that Mariano Rivera (24 SV, 1.80 ERA), Joe Nathan (21 SV, 1.91 ERA), Grant Balfour (17 SV, 1.26 ERA), and Glen Perkins (16 SV, 2.45 ERA) will definitely be selected to the All-Star Game. With just one more spot left, Veras will have a tough time cracking the reliever “rotation” but it’s certainly possible.
Assuming those four have four of the spots, there are several other candidates for the fifth spot that may deserve the spot over Veras. Jim Johnson leads the AL in saves with 25, however Johnson has struggled a bit this season and has a 3.93 ERA. With the Orioles likely sending Chris Davis, Manny Machado, and possibly others, Johnson may not be chosen. It’s possible Addison Reed is chosen as he 20 saves and a 3.38 ERA, however Chris Sale may be the White Sox representative with his fantastic season. Tom Wilhelmsen also deserves a spot (16 SV, 3.68 ERA), but Felix Hernandez will likely be the Mariners representative. Other closers such as Ernesto Frieri (15 SV, 2.79 ERA), Greg Holland (15 SV, 2.08 ERA), and Casey Janssen (15 SV, 2.38 ERA) can also be selected to the team, but again there are other players from each of their teams that will likely be selected over those closers.
That leaves us with Jose Veras. Though Veras has solid numbers, he has likely outperformed all Astros fan’s expectations and certainly my expectations as well. Veras has very similar numbers this year to his career numbers, with the only difference being his WHIP. He has allowed fewer hits, however he has already allowed four HR, whereas he hasn’t allowed more than eight in his career. If Veras can keep the ball in the park, his ERA may go a bit lower.
If Jason Castro is bypassed at the catcher’s position, Veras may be next in line to take the Astros All-Star spot. Castro certainly deserves to be the Astros representative, but don’t be surprised to see Jose Veras in NYC in mid-July.