Recently, general manager turned blogger Jim Bowden gave his picks for the NL all-star team. After he was done listing all the players who he thought should make it and all the players he felt bad about snubbing, he offered what he thought were the shortcomings of his team. The first and presumably largest shortcoming: “There are too many first basemen.”

Bowden picked four first basemen for his team: Prince Fielder, Gaby Sanchez, Joey Votto and Ryan Howard. He also penciled in sometimes 1B and always slow-footed Lance Berkman as the DH.

I’ve got a solution for Bowden’s problem. Instead of naming Ryan Howard to the team, how about Shane Victorino? Bowden didn’t name Victorino in his list of snubs, so presumably he didn’t think he was a very strong candidate. But considering Bowden’s selections — with the exception of sentimental favorite Chipper Jones — were based on player performances so far this season, and considering that Victorino has a higher batting average, on base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS+, and WAR than Howard in 2011, it seems like a no-brainer. When you add in Victorino’s 12 stolen bases (with only 1 time caught stealing) and the fact that he is a solid defender at a much harder position…do I need to keep going?

In 2010, Victorino made the all-star team thanks largely to the fact that Phillies manager Charlie Manuel was choosing the reserves. A lot of people cried “favoritism,” and they were probably right. But this year Victorino has earned an all-star nod.

6 Responses to “Victorino, not Howard, should make the all-star team”

  1. Bowden was probably making his picks based on OPSBI.

  2. Danny O says:

    No doubt Chipper is showing his age this year, but a trip to Phoenix for him has statistical backing. He’s not hitting like normal, but he’s still walked 35 times. Larry Wayne has knocked in more runs than any other NL third baseman, and he’s third among regulars in slugging.

    • This year’s crop of NL 3B candidates is pretty thin, since David Wright and Ryan Zimmerman have spent lots of time on the DL. I suppose it’s a good excuse to include Chipper one last time.

  3. Danny O says:

    You know who else from the Phillies needs to be in Phoenix? Bastardo. That guy is money this year, and w/Madson out he’ll be finishing games. This assumes that Bastardo doesn’t get hurt like every other Philly closer so far this year.

    One other thing: Arizona is trying make racial profiling an explicitly legal way to enforce federal immigration laws, so if he gets selected, he might want to keep all his visa papers in order and on hand.

  4. The Phils’ bullpen has been a great story. If you had told me going into the season that every member of the pen would be healthy, I still would have considered it the team’s Achilles heel. Instead, Lidge has been out all season, Contreras has been hurt most of the season, and now Madson is on the DL. And still the bullpen has been very good!

  5. Danny O says:

    You got your wish. Uhh, wait a sec. Nevermind.

    On the Bastardo front, he’s very deserving, though it’s tough to identify a pitcher on the NL roster who he should replace. You could make an argument that his first half is on par w/Clippard or Hanrahan. But they’re both riding solo to Phoenix, so you can’t easily push them off, especially not for another Phillie. I guess Antonio is a victim of his teammates’ success.

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