Four St. Louis Cardinals will represent the National League at the 2014 MLB All-Star Game, highlighted by catcher Yadier Molina, who was among the players selected by the fans to be part of the starting lineup for the NL.
The other three Cardinals who will be counted as All-Stars this season are right-handed pitcher Adam Wainwright, relief pitcher, Pat Neshek and third baseman Matt Carpenter. St. Louis manager, Mike Matheny, will manage the NL All-Stars.
The story-lines are aplenty with the news of these all-star selections, and the Cardinals will be obviously well-represented.
Molina, despite posting a lesser batting average than Brewers’ catcher Jonathan Lucroy (.292 compared to .329), was voted in as starter by the fans for the fourth time in his career. Lucroy will be a reserve, as Yadi’s long-time consistency and fan support obviously did him good in regard to the fan vote.
For what it’s worth, it’s not like he’s having a bad year. Molina has 86 hits, 30 runs, 7 home runs and 30 RBI to go along with his .292 average. He’s also thrown out 17 base runners this year compared to Lucroy’s 18. Overall, Molina is well-deserving of the starters vote.
Matheny will be in an interesting position with Wainwright, who boasts stats that would appear starter-worthy for the upcoming All-Star clash. “Waino ” has the best ERA in the National League (1.89) and was the first pitcher in the NL to get to the 11-win mark. Overall, Wainwright is 11-4 in the first half.
The Cardinals’ skipper could decide to start Waino, because he certainly is worthy. He’d have a comfortable parter in Molina behind the plate, and starting the All-Star game is certainly an honor for any pitcher. Whether or not Matheny wants to risk Wainright’s arm is yet to be determined, though. Well know more during a press conference the day before the game, which is scheduled to be on Tuesday, July 15th.
“It’s a tremendous honor,” Wainwright said via Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com. “To be voted in by the players is something that will mean something for me and be a notch on the belt. When you look back on your career, you can say, ‘Wow, the players thought I was good enough one year to make the All-Star team.’ That’s pretty special.”
Carpenter was selected as an All-Star for the second straight year, and he’ll be coming in boasting a great first half. Carpenter has a .282 batting average, and leads St. Louis with an OBP of .375. He’s ranked No. 15 in all of MLB in runs scored with 55, and No. 13 in walks with 47–two huge stats to look at for leadoff hitters.
Finally we have, Neshek the right-handed reliever who is a first-time All-Star and manager selection. The amazing thing about Neshek is that he was a non-roster invitee to spring training this season. At 33 years old, he’s now an MLB All-Star. Neshek is 2-0 this season as a setup man. In 35 innings pitched, he boasts a 0.77 ERA, and has given up just three earned runs overall.
Neshek actually grew up in Minneapolis. Even sweeter in regard to his dream All-Star story, his brother is a member of the Target Field grounds crew. What a homecoming it should be for the Cardinals’ star setup man.