All-Star lineups include Ryan Howard as NL designated hitter

8 Comments

Charlie Manuel overlooked a 150-point difference in OPS to pick Ryan Howard over Joey Votto for the All-Star team, so even after Votto was added to the NL squad via MLB.com’s “Final Vote” contest it’s no surprise that the Phillies’ manager went with Howard at designated hitter. Or that he’s batting cleanup.
Here are the full NL and AL lineups:

   American League                 National League
1. Ichiro Suzuki, RF            1. Hanley Ramirez, SS
2. Derek Jeter, SS              2. Martin Prado, 2B
3. Miguel Cabrera, 1B           3. Albert Pujols, 1B
4. Josh Hamilton, CF            4. Ryan Howard, DH
5. Vladimir Guerrero, DH        5. David Wright, 3B
6. Evan Longoria, 3B            6. Ryan Braun, LF
7. Joe Mauer, C                 7. Andre Ethier, CF
8. Robinson Cano, 2B            8. Corey Hart, RF
9. Carl Crawford, LF            9. Yadier Molina, C

Miguel Cabrera replaced Justin Morneau in the AL lineup, while Martin Prado and Corey Hart replaced Chase Utley and Jason Heyward in the NL lineup.
All-Star outfields are often oddly arranged because there’s no “center fielder” spot on the ballot, but Manuel choosing Andre Ethier to start in center field is especially odd considering he has zero experience there as a major leaguer and Corey Hart has played 51 career games there.

Kyle Schwarber: Before and After

Getty Images
3 Comments

It’s always a bit deceiving to see offseason workout photos of players who are said to be getting into great shape because guys in those pics are wearing compression shirts and crap and we’re used to seeing them in baseball uniforms. I remember pics of Miguel Cabrera and David Ortiz in the offseason looking svelte, only to see them in uniform come spring as their familiar beefy selves. Uniforms are often loose and billowy and the players wear  a couple of layers when they’re suited up, so at least visually speaking it’s better to compare apples to apples.

Which brings us to Kyle Schwarber. All offseason long we’ve been getting reports about Schwarber working out, losing weight and, of course, getting into The Best Shape of His Life. And some of those pics have definitely shown a young man who has cut fat and gotten lean. Good for him!

Let’s see how that translates to Schwarber in uniform. Here is is at spring training last year:

MESA, AZ – FEBRUARY 21: Kyle Schwarber #12 of the Chicago Cubs poses during Chicago Cubs Photo Day on February 21, 2017 in Mesa, Arizona. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

 

Here he is toward the end of last season:

CHICAGO, IL – SEPTEMBER 09: at Wrigley Field on September 9, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

And here he is now:

MESA, AZ – FEBRUARY 20: Kyle Schwarber #12 of the Chicago Cubs poses during Chicago Cubs Photo Day on February 20, 2018 in Mesa, Arizona. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

 

Nice goin’, kid.