Some teams dominate the All-Star roster, and some teams get a lone rep. Some teams always send position players and perhaps a pitcher every now and then, some teams just send one or the other. In recent years, San Diego has been in the latter category of both.
The last two seasons, the Padres have only sent one representative, a pitcher. Since moving to Petco, the Padres have sent a pitcher every year but two. In 2004 Mark Loretta made the club as a second baseman, and in 2008 Adrian Gonzalez represented. Gonzalez’s 2008 appearance was also the last time a position player went. As Fangraphs’ Jeff Sullivan detailed yesterday, the 2013 Padres pitching staff leaves a little to be desired, so it’s likely their only rep this year will be a position player. And for that, there is one obvious choice.
Jason Marquis. Wait – he pitches. Everth Cabrera then.
In all seriousness, Cabrera is having a magnificent season, the finest of his career. He currently trails only Troy Tulowitzki (3.9 to 3.6) in WAR by a shortstop. He is striking out (16.4%) at a career low rate. He is tied for the league lead in Base Runs (BsR), which is a little more accurate than weighted Runs Created (wRC+). Yes his BABIP is abnormally high (.365, 7th highest in the league), and his fielding (by Dewan Runs Saved) has been average, but still – a great year in progress.
If Cabrera makes the All-Star team, that would be news for another reason. He would be the first Padre shortstop to make the team in over 20 years. There have been only 3 Padres shorstops who have made the All-Star team:
- Tony Fernandez, 1992
- Garry Templeton, 1985
- Ozzie Smith, 1981
None of them started the game, but all of them appeared during the game. When they do get in, Padre shortstops have been very successful at the plate in support of the NL. Between the three of them, they are 3 for 4 (all singles, two from Fernandez, one by Templeton), with two walks (both from Ozzie), two runs scored (Fernandez/Templeton), and a stolen base (Ozzie). It would be extremely cool to see Cabrera continue that tradition. Imagine Everth at the plate late in a close or tied game, working his way on base, then stealing bases to get into scoring position and eventually a run for the NL.
Might lead to the best Padre All-Star moment since Tony Gwynn scored the winning run in the 1994 game.
Here’s hoping the hamstring tweak he suffered Sunday isn’t too serious. Also for what it’s worth, by UZR he’s fifth-best SS in the NL, by UZR/150, the sixth-best, so maybe not so average defensively. H/T to @ducksnorts for the Padres All-Star registry link.
No, you’re not seeing things – this post showed up unexpectedly late last night. It’s revised and re-posted.
Insert clever tagline here. I’m around.