Beltran, not McCutchen?
Juan C. Rodriguez
Beltran is having a nice rebound season, batting .281-12-55 with a .863 on-base plus slugging percentage. McCutchen (.294-12-46) has been better, logging a .890 OPS in addition to 15 steals, 12 more than Beltran. No doubt NL manager Bruce Bochy can count on a professional at-bat from the switch-hitting Beltran late in the game.
McCutchen's speed on the bases is disruptive, plus he is among the game's best defensive center fielders. Beltran isn't a liability in right, but he can't get to balls the way he used to, the way McCutchen can.
Crow a head-scratcher
You might have a different name for it, but I call the guideline requiring every time to be represented in the All-Star Game the Jim Sundberg rule.
It's fitting then that it's a player from one of Sundberg's former teams, the Royals, who came the farthest to sneak onto the AL roster. Aaron Crow, a rookie setup man for a last-place team, has no business being in Phoenix. Nothing against the rule — I think every team should be represented — but outfielders Alex Gordon, Jeff Francoeur or Melky Cabrera would have been a better choice.
The biggest omission was White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko, who has had MVP-type numbers throughout the first half. He wasn't named Sunday because MLB allows two DHs to be elected, but the fact is he's far more deserving than David Ortiz and Michael Young.
It's tough to begrudge a scrappy player like Placido Polanco a place on the National League All-Star squad, but the fact a guy hitting in the .270s with four home runs is starting at third base in the Midseason Classic is a testament to over-expansion.