As we approach the halfway point of the season, we’ve come to a point where we can evaluate Yankee players and their seasons, and there are four players that stick out to me in terms of being possible/probable All Stars, based on the statistics they’ve put forth this season.
Jeter, and perhaps Teixeira, will probably still make the team, but the four I have in mind:
Let’s take a look.
Andy Pettitte: 2.46 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 55 K, 33 BB.
Right now, David Price is probably the choice to start the All Star game, but Pettitte, whose ERA ranks 3rd in the AL and WHIP 6th, has probably earned a spot in the discussion.
You could write articles upon articles about how 38 year old pitchers aren’t supposed to have career seasons, but Pettitte appears to have turned the clock all the way back to 1996. Rumor has it he’s never been comfortable with the “Ace” label, and yet, in 2010, this is exactly what he has become.
Phil Hughes: 2.71 ERA, 1.09 WHIP heading into today’s game, 68 K, 20 BB
He’s not a rookie any more, but Hughes is finally showing Yankee fans what they’ve been waiting for, having a season that would be impressive even if he was a ten year veteran. He’s probably not in the discussion to start the game–too many pitchers have better ERAs and higher K totals–but he’s certainly in discussion for the team, especially when one considers Girardi is managing and the game is near Hughes’ hometown in southern California.
Robinson Canó: .371/.414/.604/1.018 12 HR
Sometimes, the numbers can speak for themselves, even if you’re not sabermetrically minded. Canó isn’t putting together an All Star season, he’s putting together an MVP season.
While defensive position may be overrated in terms of offensive output, the fact remains, Canó is a second baseman. He’s not supposed to hit like that. And yet, given everything that’s been said about him, we can’t consider this a fluke, but rather a harbinger of good things to come.
Nick Swisher: .300/.388/.524/.912 10 HR
The numbers here don’t jump out at you like they do with Canó, but the OBP and OPS are Swisherian, and he leads all American League right fielders in WAR. Alas, All Stars for the outfield are chosen regardless of whether they’re left, right or center and this will no doubt hurt Swisher’s chances.
That said, last year, the vote-Swisher-as-an-All-Star campaign seemed like a fun little diversion with no serious chance of occurring given his home/road splits, whereas this year, Swisher seems much more like a legitimate candidate. Funny story, though: his numbers hitting second this season are actually worse than his season numbers. That said, Girardi’s too much a by-the-book person to bat Granderson second more than occasionally, it seems.