The 2011 un-All-Star team

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MLB sent 66 players to Phoenix today. Here’s 58 who can head to Siberia instead. Presenting your un-All-Stars.

(I won’t be taking salaries or expectations into account. Playing time, however, will be a big factor. Basically, I’m looking for the guys who have done the most harm this year.)

Catcher
AL: Jeff Mathis, John Jaso
NL: Josh Thole, Rod Barajas

There haven’t been any truly horrible everyday catchers this year, if only because Mike Scioscia has split time between Mathis and Hank Conger pretty evenly. Barajas may have eight homers for the Dodgers, but it comes with a .261 OBP, plus he’s just 4-for-44 with RISP.

First Base
AL: Daric Barton, Derrek Lee
NL: Lyle Overbay, James Loney

Barton hit .212 with no homers in 236 at-bats before the A’s were finally forced to send him down at the end of last month. Loney has been hot lately and has his average all of the way up to .271, but he’s driven in a total of 28 runs in 295 at-bats despite hitting fifth and sixth all year.

Second Base
AL: Aaron Hill, Ryan Raburn
NL: Dan Uggla, Bill Hall, Jose Lopez

At least Hill can still pick it at second base, unlike the rest of the dreck here. However, he’s hit .239/.281/.332 with just three homers in 259 at-bats. Uggla has had 135 at-bats with runners on base this season, and he’s driven in just 17 Braves besides himself (he has 12 homers and 29 RBI).

Third Base
AL: Chone Figgins, Brandon Inge
NL: Casey McGehee, Chris Johnson

If these two teams actually were to get together for an un-All-Star Game, I think there should be a reentry rule so that Figgins can start, get pulled and then later return for round two.

Shortstop
AL: Reid Brignac, Cliff Pennington, Matt Tolbert
NL: Miguel Tejada, Yuniesky Betancourt

It’s a pretty good year for AL shortstops that Pennington is the second worse. Still, he’s been a disappointment both offensively and defensively after a 2010 season in which he was arguably the AL’s best shortstop (in a much weaker class).

I had to throw Tolbert in here. He’s mediocre defensively, he doesn’t hit and he doesn’t steal bases, yet he may well get 250 at-bats for the Twins.

Outfield
AL: Juan Pierre, Alex Rios, Vernon Wells, Rajai Davis, Magglio Ordonez
NL: Chris Coghlan, Jason Bay, Raul Ibanez, Jayson Werth, Carlos Lee, Nate McLouth

Pierre has gotten hot at the plate and improved to .262/.320/.311 for the season, but he has the worst defensive numbers of any AL outfielder. Davis has been another big disappointment with the glove, and he’s getting on base just 25 percent of the time for the Jays.

Give National League teams credit: there haven’t been any truly atrocious outfielders playing regularly in the circuit this year. Maybe Ibanez qualifies if one puts total faith in his terrible defensive numbers, but he’s the only one. Even Coghlan, who was struggling to master center field after moving over from left, was only a liability against southpaws before getting sent down.

Designated Hitter
AL: Adam Dunn

Well, that was a no-brainer. 1-for-53 against left-handers.

Starting Pitchers
AL: Fausto Carmona, Kyle Drabek, Kyle Davies, John Lackey, Luke Hochevar
NL: J.A. Happ, Bronson Arroyo, Mike Pelfrey, Travis Wood, Brett Myers, Chris Volstad

The lone thing stopping Davies from becoming the AL’s ace is some missed time with a sore shoulder.  He’s joined here by his teammate Hochevar. Another pair of Royals starters, Sean O’Sullivan and Jeff Francis, didn’t miss the cut by much.

Two Astros and two Reds here. Like the Royals, I just had to go with a six-man rotation for the NL squad. I couldn’t let that talent go to waste.

Relievers
AL: Mike Gonzalez, Frank Francisco, Ryan Perry, Joe Nathan, Bobby Jenks, Andy Sonnanstine, Daniel Schlereth
NL: Ryan Franklin, Brandon Lyon, John Grabow, Danys Baez, Aaron Heilman, Fernando Abad

It looks like Nathan is turning the corner now, but since he was at 7.63 before going on the DL, he has a lot of work to do to make his ERA respectable again.

Franklin’s ERA stood at 8.46 before he was cut by the Cardinals. Still, that pales in comparison to Lyon’s 11.48 mark. He’s done for the season after shoulder surgery.

The Twins didn’t listen to CC Sabathia’s wishes concerning bunting

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Earlier this month, Yankees starter CC Sabathia jawed at the Red Sox after Eduardo Nunez laid down a bunt. Sabathia fielded it fine, but threw the ball away for an error. After the game, he called Nunez’s bunt “weak” and said the Red Sox should “swing the bat.” Sabathia, of course, is not that limber these days. Along with being 37 years old, the lefty has also battled knee and hamstring issues this season.

The Twins apparently didn’t hear what Sabathia had to say about bunting. After Brian Dozier singled off of Sabathia to lead off the top of the first inning on Tuesday, Joe Mauer laid down a bunt on the third base side and reached safely. Jorge Polanco then laid down a bunt of his own, also on the third base side, and was initially ruled out, but after replay review was ruled safe to load the bases with no outs.

Fortunately for Sabathia, he was able to limit the damage, getting Eduardo Escobar to ground into a run-scoring 6-4-3 double play and inducing an inning-ending ground out from Byron Buxton. It’ll be interesting, though, to see if the Twins continue to bunt against Sabathia throughout the night.

Jake Arrieta to return to Cubs’ rotation on Thursday

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Cubs starter Jake Arrieta has been out over two weeks with a strained right hamstring, but he’s ready to return to action. The right-hander threw a bullpen on Tuesday and it went well, so he will start in Thursday’s series opener against the Brewers in Milwaukee, MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat reports.

Arrieta, 31, returns with a 14-9 record, a 3.48 ERA, and a 157/53 K/BB ratio in 160 1/3 innings. If he stays on schedule, he’ll make three starts through the end of the regular season, including the regular season finale on October 1 against the Reds.

Arrieta is expected to max out at 75-80 pitches on Thursday and will ramp up through the end of the month.