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1st Pitch: Career All-Star snubs

9/9/2010

Quick Hits: The All-Star rosters will be unveiled on Sunday. A year ago, Tim Wakefield, then 42, was selected for the first time in his career. With 188 wins at the time, he was the winningest pitcher of the All-Star era never to have made the team. With his selection, that distinction returned to Mike Torrez and his 185 career wins. Let’s look at some other notable active players who have never been selected:

  • With 135 career wins, Jeff Suppan is the winningest active pitcher never to make an All-Star Game.

  • Suppan is followed by Darren Oliver and A.J. Burnett, both of whom have won 106 games. An interesting case can be made for Oliver and his 1.49 ERA, which is third among AL relievers.

  • Of the 74 active pitchers with 1,000 career innings, Burnett has the lowest ERA (3.92) among those never selected.

  • Most notably snubbed in 2002 and 2008, Pat Burrell has the most career home runs (272).

  • Adrian Beltre, who ranks second in the majors in batting average and leads all AL third basemen in OPS, has the second most career home runs (262) among active players without an All-Star bid.

  • A snub in 2009, Huston Street’s 130 saves are the most among active pitchers who have never been.

  • Among those with 3,000 career plate appearances, Nick Markakis (.298) has the highest career batting average. He barely qualifies though. He had his 3,000th career plate appearance last night.

  • Travis Hafner has the highest career OPS (.903) for any player in major league history never selected as an All-Star (among those to play in the All-Star era). With four 100-RBI seasons, he’s the only active player with more than two who has never made it. In 2006, he hit .322 with 25 home runs – including a record 5 grand slams – but didn’t make the team.

Today’s Trivia: Who was the last player to win the Cy Young Award after having not been an All-Star that season?

Today’s Leaderboard: For the first time this season, Tim Wakefield and Jamie Moyer – and their combined 90 years of age - are starting on the same day. On May 7, they both pitched, but Wakefield was in relief. So perhaps it’s fitting that Moyer can make some history (again). First, he could pick up his 10th win of the season. It would be his 16th time reaching that total, but just the second time he’s done it before the break. Moyer is going for his 104th win after turning 40, while Wakefield goes for his 41st. Moyer would tie Jack Quinn for the 2nd-most wins after turning 40.

Most Wins After Age 40, MLB History

Key Matchups: The Diamondbacks young trio of Justin Upton, Chris Young and Mark Reynolds have combined to hit .163 against Hiroki Kuroda. In 49 at-bats, they’ve struck out 22 times. Perhaps not the welcome to the ranks of big league managers that Kirk Gibson was hoping for.

Chris Iannetta is 6-for-12 in his career against Tim Lincecum. He’s also walked eight times and twice been hit by a pitch against the two-time Cy Young winner. That gives Iannetta a .727 on-base percentage. He’s managed to reach base in all eight games in which they’ve faced one another.

Trivia Answer: In 2004, Johan Santana was just 7-6 with a 3.78 ERA at the break. He went on to win the Cy Young after going 13-0 with a 1.21 ERA in the second half. Jimmy Rollins in 2007 is the last player to win MVP after not being an All-Star.