One Reds All-Star: Cordero

When the National League team takes the field in St. Louis for introductions at the All-Star game, you will see only one player wearing a Reds uniform. It will be closer Francisco Cordero.

I had a feeling it’d either be Cordero or Johnny Cueto but not both. Each team gets a minimum of one player to represent.

Cordero, a manager’s selection, is definitely a worthy choice with 20 saves in 21 attempts this season. It’s funny now thinking back to Spring Training when fans (and reporters…ahem) were so concerned when he was terrible and working his way back from off-season ankle surgery.

At 8-4 with a 2.69 ERA, Cueto was definitely worth a closer look but those back-to-back starts where he blew big leads to Toronto and the White Sox probably didn’t help his cause. While he was fourth in ERA among NL pitchers, he has only 78 strikeouts, which is not close to the leaderboard. He also doesn’t rank in other categories like innings pitched (103.2), complete games, etc. He was 4th with opponent’s batting average of .223.

Do you think any Reds were overlooked or snubbed?

Joey Votto would have been a stone-cold lock had he not missed so much time on the DL. In my mind, no other position player is having good enough seasons to warrant snubbed status.

3:30pm update: After taking a closer look at the NL pitching staff, I’m still not shocked Cueto didn’t make it. But one’s eyes can go into spasm crunching numbers and Cueto definitely had a case.

The Cubs’ Ted Lilly made it with a 7-6 record with a 3.35 ERA in 16 starts with 23 BB, 88 K, opp. avg of .242 and a 1.13 WHIP. Cueto’s walks-hit/per innings pitched is 1.12. Lilly was the lone Cub to get in and remember, each team has to have at least one All-Star.

Did Cueto deserve to get in over Johan Santana?

Santana was 9-6 with a 3.34 ERA, 102.1 IP, 34 BB, 104 K, .241 opp avg, and a 1.26 WHIP. He was named on the player’s ballot, which shows that players too often go with names and reputation.

Postgame: Cordero was pretty low-key about his honor but was happy about it.

“It’s a great feeling. It shows you’ve done a great job,” Cordero said. “I’m really happy I’m able to go this year after what happened to me in the off-season. It was hard for me.”

Besides having September ankle surgery, Cordero unexpectedly lost his mother, Martina, who died at the age of 60 in the Dominican Republic.

“Me and my older brother were playing cards with her,” Cordero said. “I went to pick up my boy from school and I got a call that she was taken to the hospital. The next night, she passed away.”

Baker wasn’t upset that Cueto wasn’t going to St. Louis with Cordero.

“I would have loved to have seen him [make the team],” Baker said. “But he has time. He’s getting better, big time.”

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Mark: Since this blog invites comments, I feel the need to do so. While I think Cordero has performed to All-Star standards and is deserving, Cueto is definitely THE Reds All-Star. It is true that he had two bad games among his 16 starts. Lincecum had three starts that were not quality starts. You pointed out strikeouts but they are one of the most misleading statistics and really don’t measure effectiveness.

Brett Tomko struck out nine batters but gave up five runs in a start. An unimpressed Jack McKeon said, “He struck out the wrong guys. He should have struck out the five that scored.”

Cueto has 103.2 innings and (2.69 ERA) compares favorably to All-Stars, Ted Lilly with 104.2 (3.35 ERA), Jason Marquis with 109.1 (3.87 ERA) and Chad Billingsley 112.1 innings in 17 starts with a (3.12).

Cueto should be an All-Star.

I do think Cueto deserves to be picked over Santana based on numbers so far this season.

If he is the players pick then I have to defer to their judgement. Numbers are the only measure we fans and you journalist have to evaluate performance.

If I had to stand in the batter’s box and face Cueto or Santana, my pick might be entirely different and probably not consistent with the numbers.

Sometimes we forget the game is harder than it looks in the stands, press box or TV.

I felt like 3 reds were snubbed, although both Cueto and Votto I expected. I didn’t like that Ryan Howard made the all star game with only a .254 avg when Votto is batting .366 and only has 19 fewer RBI’s in almost 30 fewer games. Cueto didn’t perform well in two starts, but Santana has beed dreadful a couple of his latest starts, including giving up 9 runs in 3 innings against the Yankees. But the Red who has been snubbed two straight years now undeservingly has been Brandon Phillips. His average is pretty good, at .268, and is a lot less than Freddy Sanchez at .316, who was selected over Phillips. But, if you look at the other numbers, Phillips is much more impressive.

HR, Phillips 11, Sanchez 6.
RBI, Phillips 53, Sanchez 33.
Runs, Phillips 41(batting 4th), Sanchez 42 (batting 1st/2nd).
Walks, Phillips 30, Sanchez 18.
Strikeouts, Phillips 30, Sanchez 45.
Doubles, Phillips 14, Sanchez 25(only stat besides average where he is really more impressive than Phillips).
SB, Phillips(11, 6 caught), Sanchez (5, 1 caught).
OBP, Phillips .337, Sanchez .355.
SLG%, Phillips .460, Sanchez .477.
OPS, Phillips .797, Sanchez .832.

So, the numbers show that Phillips is at least as good if not better than sanchez batting, and his glove, which is often overlooked in all-star balloting should put him over the top. I keep hoping that someday he will make the all star team, but am afraid he might keep on getting snubbed.

I rather not have Cueto go. Look at Volq who took weeks to recover from pitching there. Cueto will make it someday, but right now the Reds need him to continue to learn to pitch to higher levels.

Votto could have made it but 1B is the land of HR hitters who might hit for average (Pujols being both and best 1B). So the HR hitters will get in first. Votto could have been batting .400 and might not have made it in.

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