Okay, this one may get shot down. But it needs to be brought up somewhere and there is no better place. There is a third New York Yankees player who deserves a spot on the American League All-Star team besides David Robertson and Brett Gardner.
Based on performance and making the most of his opportunities, Preston Claiborne is the one.
You can say he hasn’t logged a lot of appearances-and you would be right. But that doesn’t seem to rule out the consideration of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig. Everyone is talking about him. What a travesty of justice to leave Puig off, they say.
Well let’s see, Puig has played in 32 games this year and Claiborne has played in 22. So why does the limited contribution theory work for one and not the other?
Compare Claiborne’s stats to Robertson’s and you’ll see he is right there. Robertson has given up 9 earned runs in 36.1 innings compared to Claiborne’s six in 26.1. That’s very comparable. Although the batting average against Robertson is .183, Claiborne’s is just a shade more at .222. Claiborne’s ERA is even better than Robertson’s at 2.05 to 2.23.
As for Gardner, his defense, with the exception of just a couple of plays, has been outstanding all season. His offense has been very good but not great. So if Gardner is deserving of a spot than Claiborne, with his excellent numbers, is also.
Admittedly, Claiborne has had two rough outings recently, one against the Dodgers and one against the Twins, but the all star selection is for the entire season to this point. The problem is that most people remember “what you have done for me lately.”
Go ahead, tell me about all of the other great pitchers in the American League. I don’t care, Claiborne’s contribution has helped the Yankees stay in the race. He has quietly helped make their bullpen deep. He has helped diminish the disappointing performance they have gotten from Joba Chamberlain.
There seems to be such an emphasis on young players now. The goal is to pass the baton to the next generation of stars. Well, how about one who has quietly performed at a very high level, even if his role is in the middle of the bullpen?