This week I will give my All-Star Teams and analyze the recent Rangers trade to acquire Bengie Molina. The actual All-Star teams get announced tomorrow at 11:00 AM on TBS, and I can’t wait to see what Rangers there are.
On Thursday, the Texas Rangers traded RHP Chris Ray and RHP Michael Main to the San Francisco Giants for C Bengie Molina.
I am not a big fan of this trade. Bengie is definitely an improvement at catcher defensively, and somewhat offensively, but he hasn’t been all that great with the stick this year, as he was hitting just .257 with 3 home runs and 17 RBIs before the trade. But the repercussions in the future could be huge. Chris Ray was very good in the 7th inning for us this year, and we will really miss him, but we could miss him even more in the future. Chris was a dominant closer for the Orioles before he got injured a few years ago, and could be again. With him gone, that leaves us with no reliable closing options if we decided to make both Neftali Feliz and Tanner Scheppers starters, which really handcuffs us from putting both of them in the rotation, which is what I would want to do. Michael Main could also be a big loss in the future, as he is a first-rounder, and, in my opinion, will be a very solid middle-of-the-rotation guy in the future, and we basically just gave him up so that the Giants would pay the remaining $2 million dollars of Molina’s contract. I would much rather have Main than two million dollars. This is an example of the bad situation Daniels has been put in by the Rangers’ ownership situation. If Greenberg owned the Rangers already, I think Main would still be with the team.
Grade: B-, the gain takes away from the loss just enough to keep it from being a C
NL: Stats as of July 2nd
C: Miguel Olivo, COL (.312 AVG 1st, 11 HR t-1st, 39 RBI 1st) – Miguel is either first or tied for first in each of the three major hitting categories among National League catchers, so for me, this is a no-brainer.
1B: Joey Votto, CIN (.314 AVG 1st, 18 HR t-2nd, 55 RBI t-3rd) – Joey is in the top three among first basemen in the NL and is a serious MVP candidate. His batting average is the best, and his power numbers are incredible.
DH: Albert Pujols, STL (.309 AVG 2nd, 19 HR 1st, 58 RBI 1st) – Albert is no worse than second among NL first basemen in batting average (.309), home runs (19), or RBIs (58), which is amazing, so I have him starting as my National League DH.
2B: Martin Prado, ATL (.333 AVG 1st, 7 HR 6th, 34 RBI 6th) – Martin has gotten a hit in one out of every three at-bats this year, and that is something that no other NL 2B can even come close to saying, as Brandon Phillips is 2nd, and is .025 points below that.
SS: Hanley Ramirez, FLA (.296 AVG t-3rd, 12 HR t-1st, 51 RBI 1st) – Hanley is third at the shortstop position in the National League with an average just below .300, but leads that category in both major power numbers, home runs and RBIs.
3B: Scott Rolen, CIN (.302 AVG 4th, 17 HR 2nd, 54 RBI 2nd) – Scott isn’t first in any of the three major categories among NL 2B, but is solid in all three. He his hitting over .300, with incredible power numbers.
OF: Ryan Braun, MIL (.295 AVG 10th, 11 HR t-12th, 49 RBI 4th) - Ryan’s batting average isn’t all that great, but his power numbers are, with 11 HR and 49 RBIs.
OF: Carlos Gonzalez, COL (.299 AVG 6th, 13 HR t-6th, 48 RBI 5th) – Carlos is only one point away from hitting .300, is on pace to hit close to 30 home runs and have 100 RBIs over the course of the season, and is in the top six among NL outfielders in all three of those categories.
OF: Corey Hart, MIL (.281 AVG 16th, 18 HR 1st, 60 RBI 1st) – Corey’s batting average is just mediocre, but his power numbers make up for that, as he leads NL outfielders in home runs with 18, and RBIs with 60.
SP: Ubaldo Jimenez, COL (14-1, 1.83 ERA, 102 K) – Ubaldo is leading all of baseball in wins, is tied for the major league lead in ERA, and has over 100 strikeouts. That’s a pretty obvious choice, even with Josh Johnson pitching so well of late.
C: Ronny Paulino, FLA (.306 AVG 2nd, 3 HR t-11th, 28 RBI t-5th)
Ramon Hernandez, CIN (.292 AVG 4th, 3 HR t-11th, 19 RBI t-10th)
1B: Adrian Gonzalez, SD (.297 AVG 4th, 16 HR 5th, 51 RBI 7th)
Ryan Howard, PHI (.294 AVG 5th, 15 HR 6th, 55 RBI t-3rd)
2B: Brandon Phillips, CIN (.308 AVG 2nd, 9 HR 5th, 25 RBI 8th, 60 R 1st in NL, 10 SB 2nd)
Rickie Weeks, MIL (.273 AVG 8th, 13 HR t-2nd, 47 RBI 1st)
SS: Rafael Furcal, LAD (.333 AVG 1st, 3 HR t-11th, 25 RBI 9th)
Troy Tulowitzki, COL (.306 AVG 2nd, 9 HR 3rd, 34 RBI 3rd)
3B: David Wright, NYM (.307 AVG 2nd, 14 HR 3rd, 63 RBI 1st)
Ryan Zimmerman, WAS (.283 AVG 6th, 13 HR t-4th, 40 RBI 6th)
Casey McGehee, MIL (.276 AVG 7th, 13 HR t-4th, 51 RBI 3rd)
OF: Marlon Byrd, CHC (.306 AVG 3rd, 9 HR t-22nd, 35 RBI t-28th)
Matt Holliday, STL (.302 AVG t-4th, 11 HR t-12th, 38 RBI t-20th)
Chris Young, ARI (.261 AVG t-31st, 14 HR t-3rd, 52 RBI t-2nd)
Jay Bruce, CIN (.283 AVG t-13th, 10 HR t-18th, 36 RBI t-23rd)
Andre Ethier, LAD (.312 AVG 2nd, 12 HR t-10th, 47 RBI t-6th)
SP: Josh Johnson, FLA (8-3, 1.83 ERA, 107 K)
Adam Wainwright, STL (11-5, 2.34 ERA, 114 K)
Jaime Garcia, STL (7-4, 2.27 ERA, 70 K)
Tim Hudson, ATL (8-3, 2.37 ERA, 51 K)
Chris Carpenter, STL (9-1, 2.90 ERA, 100 K)
Yovani Gallardo, MIL (8-3, 2.56 ERA, 120 K)
RP: Matt Capps, WAS (22 SV, 3.28 ERA, 31 K)
Matt Lindstrom, HOU (19 SV, 2.97 ERA, 28 K)
Heath Bell, SD (21 SV, 1.87 ERA, 44 K)
Brian Wilson, SF (21 SV, 2.18 ERA, 45 K)
Evan Meek, PIT (0.98 ERA, 46 IP, 42 K)
Arthur Rhodes, CIN (1.09 ERA, 33 IP, 32 K)
Players per Team:
Cincinnati Reds – 6
St. Louis Cardinals – 5
Milwaukee Brewers – 5
Colorado Rockies – 4
Florida Marlins – 3
Los Angeles Dodgers – 2
San Diego Padres – 2
Atlanta Braves – 2
Washington Nationals – 2
Arizona Diamondbacks – 1
San Francisco Giants – 1
Houston Astros – 1
Pittsburgh Pirates – 1
Chicago Cubs – 1
New York Mets – 1
Philadelphia Phillies – 1
AL: Stats as of July 3rd
C: Joe Mauer, MIN (.297 AVG 1st, 3 HR t-11th, 34 RBI t-4th) – Joe hasn’t hit for the kind of power that he did last year, but the catching position hasn’t been that good in the AL this year, and Joe is still hitting almost .300.
1B: Miguel Cabrera, DET (.337 AVG 2nd, 20 HR t-1st, 68 RBI 1st) – Miguel Cabrera leads American League first basemen in both home runs and RBIs, and also has a .337 average, which is second in that group.
2B: Robinson Cano, NYY (.347 AVG 1st, 16 HR 1st, 54 RBI 1st) – Robinson Cano is the obvious choice to be the starter for this position, since he leads AL 2B in all three major categories.
SS: Elvis Andrus, TEX (.292 AVG 1st, 0 HR t-15th, 24 RBI 8th, 22 SB 1st) – Elvis hasn’t hit any home runs this year, but he still has a good number of RBIs for a lead-off man, and leads AL SS in both batting average and stolen bases by a good amount.
3B: Adrian Beltre, BOS (.346 AVG 1st, 12 HR t-1st, 53 RBI 3rd) – Adrian is first by .032 points in batting average for American League third basemen, is tied for first in that group in home runs, and is third in RBIs.
DH: Vladimir Guerrero, TEX (.334 AVG 1st, 18 HR 1st, 70 RBI 1st) – Vladimir leads all DHs in all three major categories, and leads all of baseball in RBIs. This one isn’t even close.
OF: Josh Hamilton, TEX (.340 AVG t-1st, 19 HR t-2nd, 59 RBI 1st) – Josh is in the top two among AL outfielders in batting average (.340), home runs (19), and RBIs (59).
OF: Brandon Boesch, DET (.340 AVG t-1st, 12 HR t-9th, 46 RBI 9th) – The AL Rookie of the Year choice is going to be very hard this year, since there should be two rookie All-Stars, with Boesch and Neftali Feliz.
OF: Alex Rios, CWS (.312 AVG 7th, 13 HR t-4th, 44 RBI t-10th) – Alex has been solid all-around this year, with a batting average well over .300, and power numbers well above average.
SP: David Price, TB (11-4, 2.42 ERA, 90 K) – David leads the American League in wins with 11, in ERA at 2.42, and has 90 strikeouts, which isn’t too shabby. He’s had a great year.
C: Victor Martinez, BOS (.289 AVG 2nd, 9 HR t-4th, 38 RBI 2nd) (can’t play due to injury)
John Buck, TOR (.266 AVG 5th, 13 HR 2nd, 40 RBI 1st)
1B: Justin Morneau, MIN (.343 AVG 1st, 16 HR t-3rd, 52 RBI 1st)
Paul Konerko, CWS (.294 AVG 5th, 20 HR t-1st, 57 RBI 2nd)
Billy Butler, KC (.320 AVG 3rd, 8 HR t-9th, 42 RBI 7th)
2B: Dustin Pedroia, BOS (.292 AVG 4th, 12 HR 3rd, 41 RBI 4th) (can’t play due to injury)
Ian Kinsler, TEX (.301 AVG 3rd, 3 HR t-9th, 26 RBI 7th)
Mike Aviles, KC (.326 AVG 2nd, 2 HR t-11th, 13 RBI 16th) (D. Pedroia injury replacement)
SS: Derek Jeter, NYY (.282 AVG 3rd, 8 HR 2nd, 39 RBI 2nd)
Alex Gonzalez, TOR (.263 AVG 8th, 14 HR 1st, 41 RBI 1st)
3B: Michael Young, TEX (.314 AVG 2nd, 11 HR 4th, 51 RBI 4th)
Evan Longoria, TB (.292 AVG 3rd, 12 HR t-1st, 55 RBI 2nd)
Alex Rodriguez (.278 AVG 5th, 12 HR t-1st, 57 RBI 1st) (V. Martinez injury replacement)
DH: Jose Guillen, KC (.276 AVG 2nd, 14 HR 3rd, 50 RBI 3rd)
OF: Magglio Ordonez, DET (.313 AVG 6th, 10 HR t-11th, 49 RBI t-5th)
Shin-Soo Choo, CLE (.286 AVG 18th, 13 HR t-4th, 43 RBI 12th)
David DeJesus, KC (.327 AVG 4th, 5 HR t-29th, 35 RBI t-20th)
Nick Markakis, BAL (.303 AVG t-10th, 4 HR t-33rd, 26 RBI t-30th)
SP: Clay Buchholz, BOS (10-4, 2.45 ERA, 64 K)
Cliff Lee, SEA (7-3, 2.45 ERA, 78 K)
Andy Pettite, NYY (9-2, 2.72 ERA, 74 K)
Trevor Cahill, OAK (8-2, 2.74 ERA, 56 K)
Jered Weaver, LAA (8-3, 2.82 ERA, 124 K)
Jon Lester, BOS (9-3, 2.86 ERA, 111 K)
RP: Joakim Soria, KC (21 SV, 2.35 ERA, 37 K)
Neftali Feliz, TEX (21 SV, 3.06 ERA, 38 K)
Rafael Soriano, TB (19 SV, 1.57 ERA, 26 K)
Jon Rauch, MIN (18 SV, 2.53 ERA, 23 K)
Mariano Rivera, NYY (18 SV, 0.86 ERA, 31 K)
Jose Valverde, DET (18 SV, 0.53 ERA, 32 K)
Players per Team:
Texas Rangers – 6
Kansas City Royals – 5
New York Yankees – 5
Detroit Tigers – 4
Boston Red Sox – 3
Minnesota Twins – 3
Tampa Bay Rays – 3
Toronto Blue Jays – 2
Chicago White Sox – 2
Baltimore Orioles – 1
Cleveland Indians – 1
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – 1
Oakland Athletics – 1
Seattle Mariners – 1
I’ll be taking next week off. Come back in two weeks.