As another September game starts, several Orioles will watchand stand little chance of playing.Theyre the Orioles versions of college basketballs walk-ons. Theyll play only in the late innings if the game is out of reach, one way or another.When the rosters expanded two weeks ago, the Orioles began adding players. The extra pitchers added, Jake Arrieta, Tommy Hunter and Zach Phillips, are useful additions. Phillips was used as a decoy once against the Yankees, with manager Buck Showalter hoping to get his counterpart, Joe Girardi to waste a pinch-hitter. The move didnt work.The outliers are outfielders Xavier Avery and L.J Hoes, infielders Ryan Flaherty and Steve Tolleson and catcher Luis Exposito.Only Tolleson has started a game since Sept. 1 when Showalter was trying to load the lineup with right-handers against CC Sabathia.Flaherty has been with the club nearly all year except for an August stint on the disabled list, but he hasnt started in three weeks.Theyre there as insurance in case of injury, to be used as a pinch-runner or gain experience just watching.Showalter likes to talk about how his Yankees brought Derek Jeter up in Sept. 1995 to get used to the September atmosphere. The Orioles hope it will rub on Avery and Hoes.Endy Chavez could almost be in the walk-on category, but he pinch-ran on Thursday and got a 14th inning hit to build the winning run. Chavez and Hoes were added on Tuesday after Nick Markakis broke his left thumb.The Orioles are currently carrying 35 players. Theres talk that next year that Major League Baseball will limit the number of call-ups or limit the number of players eligible for a game.That might take away from watching the entertaining moves of Tampa Bays Joe Maddon on Thursday, who used 26 players, the most in an AL game in 40 years.
The 2018 Major League All-Star Game is less than a month away. Fan votes are well underway and early frontrunners are close to locking their position in the Midsummer Classic.
Yesterday, we projected how the National League roster will play out. Today it is time to look at the American League roster projection.
For five straight seasons, the AL has had the upper hand in the MLB All-Star Game. In 2018, it does not appear that will change as the American League roster will be loaded from top to bottom.
As a reminder, here is how the process shakes out, first with the fan vote, players’ ballots, and the MLB Commissioner’s Office:
- Fan vote: nine position players in AL (DH)/ eight in NL; plus final vote for each league
- Player’s ballots: next 17 players in AL/ 16 players in NL; (five starting pitchers, three relievers must be chosen)
- MLB Commissioner’s Office: five AL players (four pitchers, one position player) and seven NL players (four pitchers, three position players)
One player from each team must make the initial roster (before injury withdraws, etc.). Below is how it looks the American League roster will play out, considering the latest fan vote returns:
American League All-Star Roster Projection:
C – Wilson Ramos, Rays (Fan Vote), Gary Sánchez, Yankees (Player Ballot)
1B – José Abreu, White Sox (Fan Vote), Joey Gallo, Rangers (Player Ballot)
2B – Jose Altuve, Astros (Fan Vote), Jed Lowrie, Athletics (Player Ballot)
3B – José Ramírez, Indians (Fan Vote), Yangervis Solarte, Blue Jays (Player Ballot), Mike Moustakas, Royals (Commissioner’s Office)
SS – Manny Machado, Orioles (Fan Vote), Jean Segura, Mariners (Player Ballot),
OF – Mookie Betts, Red Sox (Fan Vote), Mike Trout, Angels (Fan Vote), Aaron Judge, Yankees (Fan Vote), Michael Brantley, Indians (Player Ballot), Eddie Rosario, Twins (Player Ballot), Giancarlo Stanton, Yankees (Player Ballot),
DH – J.D. Martinez, Red Sox (Fan Vote), Shohei Ohtani, Angels (Player Ballot)
SP – Justin Verlander, Astros (Player Ballot), Luis Severino, Yankees (Player Ballot), Corey Kluber, Indians (Player Ballot), Chris Sale, Red Sox (Player Ballot), Gerrit Cole, Astros (Player Ballot), Blake Snell, Tampa Bay (Commissioner’s Office)
RP – Edwin Díaz, Mariners (Player Ballot), Craig Kimbrel, Red Sox (Player Ballot), Aroldis Chapman, Yankees (Player Ballot), Joe Jiménez, Tigers (Commissioner’s Office), Delin Betances, Yankees (Commissioner’s Office), Chris Devenski, Astros (Commissioner’s Office)
Manager: Jeff Luhnow, Astros
Based on this projection, the New York Yankees will have the most representatives with six. The Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox will both have four.
Ensuring no snubs, there will be five players selected for the final fan vote to get one more All-Star into the game for a total of 32 for the American League. As you can see, no matter how the AL roster plays out, it will be a dominant team once again as they look for six straight All-Star wins.
Four of those five wins were inside a National League stadium and that will not change as the Washington Nationals will host this season.
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Baltimore Orioles’ Manny Machado took an even larger lead in the latest update for 2018 MLB All-Star Game voting.
The superstar shortstop maintained his position at the top of American League shortstops in the second round of All-Star voting updates, released Tuesday morning.
After the first ballot was released, Machado led the shortstops category by over 100,00 votes.
This week, he now holds north of a 200,000-vote lead over last year’s American League starter, Carlos Correa.
Reigning AL MVP @JoseAltuve27 has taken over as the @MLB overall leader in fan balloting, while @RaysBaseball catcher Wilson Ramos has surpassed Gary Sanchez of the @Yankees behind the plate. Visit https://t.co/Jd6REEkFYI to vote. #MLBVote pic.twitter.com/rPt4XQFrZI— MLB Communications (@MLB_PR) June 19, 2018
The Astros’ Correa jumped from fourth to second this past week while the Indians’ Francisco Lindor dropped to third.
Machado now has 671,133 votes, seventh among all American League players. For the second straight week, Machado remained the only Orioles player on the list.
Through 69 games in 2018, Machado is batting .310 with 18 home runs, 15 doubles and 53 RBIs. He is posting his best OPS (.945) and on-base percentage (.377) in his career, a bright spot for the O’s, who sit dead last in MLB with a 20-50 record.
The All-Star voting will be open until July 5 at 11:59 p.m. ET and fans can vote five times every 24 hours.
The next AL voting update will be announced June 26.
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