Baltimore Orioles: All-Star front-runners so far


Photo: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

The all-star voting has been in the headlines a lot the last few weeks, and not for any of the reasons baseball would want. The voting this season has highlighted many of the concerns fans have been vocal about for many seasons now. The system needs tweaking badly, and if the commissioner insists on allowing the game itself to determine home-field advantage in the World Series then the best two rosters available have to be present at the game.

Whether or not the voting system is altered in the future is just a conversation right now, but it won’t have much effect on this year’s teams. Despite the flurry of Royals players dominating the voting at the moment, the Orioles should be well represented at the game. Who exactly will be there is probably still open for now.

Adam Jones and Manny Machado are probably givens. It’s true they both have stiff competition at their positions, but if they keep their numbers around their current pace they should easily grab a reserve spot.

The same is probably true of Zach Britton, who has become one of the most dominant closers in baseball. There’s a lot of quality relievers right now so there is a chance he could be edged out based on personal preference by the coaching staff, but it’s obvious he has put up the numbers to warrant a spot on the roster.

The wildcards for the Orioles are Jimmy Paredes and Darren O’Day. Every year it seems fans make a case for Darren O’Day to make his first All-Star selection, but there’s no excitement for the reliable. This year may be his best chance, as he is having his best statistical year to date.

In 27.2 innings this season, O’Day has 0.98 ERA and 30 strikeouts. Those are pretty impressive numbers for a pitcher who is constantly pitching in high pressure situations. Whether or not those numbers get him on the team are anybody’s guess, but to this point he’s done everything he could.

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The surprise of the year is Jimmy Paredes. Nobody saw it coming last season when Dan Duquette grabbed Paredes off waivers, but to this point in the season he has earned at least an all-star consideration.

Paredes is batting .305 this season, which is the same as MVP Mike Trout. It would also be good for seventh in the American League, if he had enough at-bats to qualify. That may be Paredes issue, however. He has only played in 51 of the team’s 69 games so far this season, but if he keeps this pace through June his numbers may be too much to ignore.

It seems like a lifetime ago when Orioles players like George Sherill and Ty Wiggington squeezed their way onto All-Star team solely because of the one-player from every team rule. However, now that the Orioles are coming off their first division title in nearly two decades, the team should be well represented in the Mid-Summer Classic.

Next: Baltimore Orioles: I Didn't Hear No Bell

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