“Final Vote” balloting opens for 2015 MLB All-Star Game

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The National League and American League rosters for the 2015 MLB All-Star Game were announced earlier this evening and we predictably saw some high-profile snubs. The Esurance “Final Vote” ballot allows fans to select who they think should have made the cut. Here are the candidates…

National League

  • Johnny Cueto SP, Reds (2.84 ERA in 15 starts)
  • Jeurys Familia RP, Mets (1.16 ERA, 22 saves)
  • Clayton Kershaw SP, Dodgers (3.08 ERA, 147 K in 114 IP)
  • Carlos Martinez SP, Cardinals (2.70 ERA)
  • Troy Tulowitzki SS, Rockies (.847 OPS)

American League

  • Xander Bogaerts SS, Red Sox (.302/.339/.414 batting line)
  • Yoenis Cespedes OF, Tigers (.292 with 10 HR, 44 RBI)
  • Brian Dozier 2B, Twins (16 HR, .842 OPS)
  • Brett Gardner OF, Yankees (.854 OPS, 9 HR, 15 SB)
  • Mike Moustakas 3B, Royals (.301/.357/.436 batting line)

Of course, things could change if players get injured or bow out, but as of now Alex Rodriguez (16 HR, .902 OPS) will not be an All-Star this season. He’s clearly worthy from a production standpoint, so it’s a little silly to see him left off here, but let’s not let his exclusion overshadow his teammate Gardner, who deserves to be in Cincinnati as well.

You can vote here through Friday at 4 p.m. ET.

Video: Starling Marte refuses to take first base after being hit by pitch

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Pirates outfielder Starling Marte was hit on the hand by a Jack Flaherty pitch in the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Cardinals. Rather than take first base, Marte — who came to the plate with a runner on first base — insisted to home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman that the ball hit the knob of the bat, not his hand. Marte was allowed to continue his at-bat, though manager Clint Hurdle came out to discuss the ruling with Dreckman. Marte eventually grounded into a fielder’s choice. He then got caught attempting to steal second base and the Pirates scored zero runs in the inning.

According to Baseball Prospectus, a team that has runners on first and second with no outs is expected to score 1.55 runs. Having a runner on first base with one out yields 0.56 expected runs. Marte essentially cost his team a run by rejecting first base. Oops.