Former Twins Litter All-Star Rosters
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Former Twins Litter All-Star Rosters
The Minnesota Twins will host the 2014 All-Star Game at Target Field but a plethora of their former players will gather a year early for the Mid-Summer Classic. Seven former members of the organization will join current Twins players Joe Mauer and Glen Perkins. It would be great to see all nine men on the field in Minneapolis next year, so maybe they can all continue playing well for the next 162 games.
Many Twins fans are familiar with the years being put together by Perkins and Mauer. Here's a look at the seasons being produced by the men that used to call Minnesota home:
Starting SS: JJ Hardy, Baltimore Orioles (2nd Appearance)
.251/.290/.432, 15 HR, 16 2B, 46 RBI, 2.0 WAR
Hardy gets the start at a relatively weak position in the AL. Frequent All-Star starter Derek Jeter has been on the disabled list for most of this season; this opened up a spot for a different starter. His defense continues to be strong and he has shown a good power stroke since joining the Orioles. He is one of three Orioles voted into the starting line-up so he might have gotten a bump from some ballot stuffing in the Baltimore area. He won a Gold Glove last season and he leads all shortstops with 52 home runs from 2011-2012.
Starting DH: David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox (9th Appearance)
.313/.399/.595, 17 HR, 19 2B, 61 RBI, 2.2 WAR
Ortiz has gone on to quite the career with the Red Sox. This will be his fourth consecutive All-Star Game and his ninth overall appearance. The only member of the AL All-Stars with more appearances is Mariano Rivera with 13 trips to the Mid-Summer Classic. Last season, the Red Sox were a disappointment and the club ended up finishing last in the AL East. This season there has been a resurgence and Ortiz has helped his club to one of the best records in the AL.
Relief Pitcher: Jesse Crain, Chicago White Sox (1st Appearance)
0.74 ERA, 1.145 WHIP, 36.2 IP, 46 SO, 11 BB, 2.5 WAR
Set-up men don't usually make the All-Star Game but Crain has been that good this season. The 32-year old pitcher has been in the big leagues for 10 seasons and this could be his only opportunity to take part in the All-Star festivities. Players in the AL voted Crain in and that speaks volumes to his season. Earlier this year Crain made headlines by breaking the White Sox franchise-record of 29 straight appearances without allowing a run. He is though now on the disabled list with a shoulder injury and current Twins closer Glen Perkins filled his spot.
Relief Pitcher: Joe Nathan, Texas Rangers (6th Appearance)
1.40 ERA, 0.776 WHIP, 38.2 IP, 40 SO, 10 BB, 2.0 WAR
Nathan has made it to All-Star Games in the past but this one will be special since he is from the New York area. It is the second straight year he will represent the Rangers in the Mid-Summer Classic. He first four All-Star appearances came with the Minnesota Twins. For his All-Star career, he has pitched five innings, striking out four and walking one. He has given up one run on three hits. This year his 29 saves are tied for second in the American League behind the Orioles Jim Johnson. The 38-year old continues to be effective even as he gets further into his career.
Outfielder: Torii Hunter, Detroit Tigers (5th Appearance)
.309/.348/.443, 6 HR, 22 2B, 42 RBI, 0.9 WAR
It seems as if more players on the Tigers roster made the All-Star Game than those that didn't. Hunter is one of six players making a trip to New York City. Detroit's manager Jim Leyland is also the AL manager but he only added Justin Verlander as a managerial pick. Hunter has seemed to find a second life in the twilight of his career. Last season was his first year hitting over .300 and the 37-year old outfielder is hitting above that mark again this year. It doesn't look like the 17-year veteran is going to slow down and it will be his first All-Star Game since 2010.
Outfielder: Michael Cuddyer, Colorado Rockies (2nd Appearance)
.337/.392/.583, 15 HR, 18 2B, 52 RBI, 1.5 WAR
Cuddyer made his first All-Star appearance in his last season with the Twins organization. He left the team in free agency and he suffered through some injury issues in his first year in Colorado. This season has been a rebirth for Cuddyer. The players elected Cuddyer after he made national news with a 27-game hit streak. He broke the franchise record for consecutive games with at least one hit. One other remarkable streak from Cuddyer was his streak of reaching base safely in 46 consecutive games. After his hot hitting, Cuddyer's batting average is near the top of the National League.
Outfielder: Carlos Gomez, Milwaukee Brewers (1st Appearance)
.312/.353/.559, 13 HR, 20 2B, 41 RBI, 5.4 WAR
It will be something of a homecoming for Gomez who made his big league debut with the Mets. Since then, he has bounced to the Twins and Brewers before getting this All-Star nod. At the end of last season, there were some positive signs from Gomez and the Brewers rewarded him with a contract extension. He shot out of the gate in 2013 with a hot start and he has been one of the most valuable NL players. According to both FanGraphs and Baseball Reference, Gomez has the highest WAR in the National League. There were high hopes surrounding Gomez at the beginning of his career and he finally seems to be living up to those lofty expectations.