I'm a certified, card-carrying statnerd, so when it comes to evaluating each year's All-Star selections, I
- assume they are wrong, perhaps reflecting a bias toward established, popular players, and
- go check the numbers.
Here are the starting pitchers who were named to the NL team, along with their VORP, which you can find here. VORP is Value Over Replacement Player, measured in runs, and 10 runs is about equal to 1 win.
- Bronson Arroyo, 42.3 (2nd)
- Chris Carpenter, 31.1 (8th)
- Tom Glavine, 30.7 (9th)
- Brad Penny, 35.2 (4th)
- Pedro Martinez, 24.2 (17th)
- Jason Schmidt, 42.1 (3rd)
- Brandon Webb, 46.5 (1st)
- Carlos Zambrano, 33.7 (5th)
- Chris Capuano, 32.2 (6th)
- Chris Young, 30.6 (11th)
But, if Cappy is going to Pittsburgh and no one gets injured, he'll have to beat Young, Nomar Garciaparra, Bobby Abreu, and Billy Wagner. Let's see...can a little-known #3 starter from Milwaukee get more votes than the current NL batting leader, who happens to have played in three of the country's best baseball markets? How about one of the best known closers in baseball, who happens to be pitching for a New York team?
I'd say it doesn't look good. I'll be curious to see how much Capuano pops up in the media--you probably remember three years ago, when the Brewers had Jenkins all over national TV in a campaign that worked. It might even be a little easier for Cappy to manage that, since he isn't pitching again until Thursday.
It's great that two Brewers were named to the team. But it's a shame that Cappy, who might be the most deserving of all, could be passed over.