Padres pitchers, Votto among biggest All-Star snubs

The All-Star rosters are out. Let the griping begin. There is plenty to gripe about, too:

An ERA of 2.62 and a WHIP of 0.96 aren't enough to make the Padres' Mat Latos an All-Star.
An ERA of 2.62 and a WHIP of 0.96 aren’t enough to make the Padres’ Mat Latos an All-Star.

1. Not a single pitcher from the Padres makes the team. This could not have been what shortstop Jerry Hairston meant when he told me recently that, "We hope everyone continues to overlook us." The Padres’ rotation leads the majors in ERA. Their bullpen leads the majors in ERA. Yet they are limited to one player on the team — first baseman Adrian Gonzalez — and the best their pitchers can do is get closer Heath Bell on the final-vote ballot.

This is so wrong that you can be almost certain at least one more San Diego pitcher will be added by the time the players convene in Anaheim next Monday. Two besides Bell who are worthy: starter Mat Latos, 9-4 with a 2.62 ERA and reliever Luke Gregerson, 51 strikeouts to 6 walks in 38 outings with a 2.23 ERA.

2. No Joey Votto. This is about two things:

• Charlie Manuel keeping one of his own happy rather than going with the more deserving player. Going into Sunday, Votto held a statistical edge over Ryan Howard, and his Reds owned the better record and were in first place.

The numbers: Votto: .313/.414/.574, 19 HRs, 57 RBIs. Howard: .296/.353/506, 15 HRs, 58 RBIs.

Heck, a case could be made for the Braves’ Troy Glaus over Howard considering the impact Glaus has made on the NL East standings.

• Manuel earning the right to such a call. If the Reds reach the World Series, perhaps Dusty Baker can return the favor.

3. No Andy Pettitte. At 10-2 with a 2.93 ERA, he should be in line to start the game. He’s nearing the end of a career that’s almost Hall of Fame worthy and there’s been no Ubaldo Jimenez in the AL this season. Instead of possibly starting, Pettitte was completely left off the team by his own manager in favor of CC Sabathia.

Perhaps Girardi wants to keep the 38-year-old Pettitte rested for the second half. Or, more likely, Girardi has figured out a way to name both. Because Sabathia is scheduled to pitch Sunday, he would be ineligible to work in the All-Star game and would have to be replaced. Hmm? Pettitte should not make too many plans for the break.

4. Omar Infante is in. Who? You know, the Braves’ super sub. But that’s the thing. He’s not even a full-time starter on his own team. And now he’s an All-Star.

Manuel must not want to worry about running out of players. Because Infante can play all over, Manuel can hang on to him until the late innings and not have to think so much about how he uses the NL bench. The NL really must want to end their 13-year winless streak.

5. No Matt Cain. This one is on NL players, who went with Tim Lincecum over Cain as one of its five starting pitchers. Guess players haven’t caught on as much as everyone else that wins are overrated.

6. No Miguel Olivo. Another bad call by NL players, who opted for Brian McCann and his reputation over the Rockies’ Olivo and his fine season. Olivo is hitting .308 with 11 homers and 39 RBIs. McCann: .261, 9 and 33 — and offense is supposed to be his strength.

Well, enough griping (for now). Two impressive points about the selections:

• NL players voted for Martin Prado over Chase Utley, 472-276. That’s a big margin. Guess they were paying close enough attention to see that Utley is injured. It also must mean that players look closely at batting average leaders. Prado leads the NL with a .336 average.

• AL players got it right at every position except shortstop, where Derek Jeter had 573 votes to just 266 for Elvis Andrus. Even if the Rangers’ 21-year-old doesn’t deserve the start — he does, in my book — he should not be more than doubled up in the voting.

At least Andrus still made the team, which is more than any Padres pitcher can say.

Stan McNeal is a writer for Sporting News. E-mail him at smcneal@sportingnews.com.

The All-Star rosters are out. Let the griping begin. There is plenty to gripe about, too:

An ERA of 2.62 and a WHIP of 0.96 aren't enough to make the Padres' Mat Latos an All-Star.
An ERA of 2.62 and a WHIP of 0.96 aren’t enough to make the Padres’ Mat Latos an All-Star.

1. Not a single pitcher from the Padres makes the team. This could not have been what shortstop Jerry Hairston meant when he told me recently that, "We hope everyone continues to overlook us." The Padres’ rotation leads the majors in ERA. Their bullpen leads the majors in ERA. Yet they are limited to one player on the team — first baseman Adrian Gonzalez — and the best their pitchers can do is get closer Heath Bell on the final-vote ballot.

This is so wrong that you can be almost certain at least one more San Diego pitcher will be added by the time the players convene in Anaheim next Monday. Two besides Bell who are worthy: starter Mat Latos, 9-4 with a 2.62 ERA and reliever Luke Gregerson, 51 strikeouts to 6 walks in 38 outings with a 2.23 ERA.

2. No Joey Votto. This is about two things:

• Charlie Manuel keeping one of his own happy rather than going with the more deserving player. Going into Sunday, Votto held a statistical edge over Ryan Howard, and his Reds owned the better record and were in first place.

The numbers: Votto: .313/.414/.574, 19 HRs, 57 RBIs. Howard: .296/.353/506, 15 HRs, 58 RBIs.

Heck, a case could be made for the Braves’ Troy Glaus over Howard considering the impact Glaus has made on the NL East standings.

• Manuel earning the right to such a call. If the Reds reach the World Series, perhaps Dusty Baker can return the favor.

3. No Andy Pettitte. At 10-2 with a 2.93 ERA, he should be in line to start the game. He’s nearing the end of a career that’s almost Hall of Fame worthy and there’s been no Ubaldo Jimenez in the AL this season. Instead of possibly starting, Pettitte was completely left off the team by his own manager in favor of CC Sabathia.

Perhaps Girardi wants to keep the 38-year-old Pettitte rested for the second half. Or, more likely, Girardi has figured out a way to name both. Because Sabathia is scheduled to pitch Sunday, he would be ineligible to work in the All-Star game and would have to be replaced. Hmm? Pettitte should not make too many plans for the break.

4. Omar Infante is in. Who? You know, the Braves’ super sub. But that’s the thing. He’s not even a full-time starter on his own team. And now he’s an All-Star.

Manuel must not want to worry about running out of players. Because Infante can play all over, Manuel can hang on to him until the late innings and not have to think so much about how he uses the NL bench. The NL really must want to end their 13-year winless streak.

5. No Matt Cain. This one is on NL players, who went with Tim Lincecum over Cain as one of its five starting pitchers. Guess players haven’t caught on as much as everyone else that wins are overrated.

6. No Miguel Olivo. Another bad call by NL players, who opted for Brian McCann and his reputation over the Rockies’ Olivo and his fine season. Olivo is hitting .308 with 11 homers and 39 RBIs. McCann: .261, 9 and 33 — and offense is supposed to be his strength.

Well, enough griping (for now). Two impressive points about the selections:

• NL players voted for Martin Prado over Chase Utley, 472-276. That’s a big margin. Guess they were paying close enough attention to see that Utley is injured. It also must mean that players look closely at batting average leaders. Prado leads the NL with a .336 average.

• AL players got it right at every position except shortstop, where Derek Jeter had 573 votes to just 266 for Elvis Andrus. Even if the Rangers’ 21-year-old doesn’t deserve the start — he does, in my book — he should not be more than doubled up in the voting.

At least Andrus still made the team, which is more than any Padres pitcher can say.

Stan McNeal is a writer for Sporting News. E-mail him at smcneal@sportingnews.com.

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