All-Star Game: In a perfect world Machado starts at shortstop


In the 2014 NBA All-Star Game, the Eastern Conference did not start a center. Why? Because none of them were good enough. Or even better yet, there were forwards who were much more deserving of starting nods. This is where Major League Baseball can take notes:

Start Manny Machado at shortstop for the American League. 

It’s simple, really. The shortstops in the AL have been terrible and Machado has been great. Just compare him to Josh Donaldson, who beat out Manny for the American League’s starting third base spot.

While Donaldson has two more home runs, Machado leads him in steals, average, OBP, and WAR — he actually has the second-highest WAR of all hitters in the AL.

In terms of defense, the two are tied for the the Range Factor stat which calculates diving putouts and assists, and Machado leads all third baseman with a 1.2 Defensive WAR.

Donaldson is great. Machado is too. So what do you do when two of the top five American League hitters play third base?

You make an All-Star Game change. Only two American League shortstops are hitting over .300, and just one has a WAR over 2.0 (none of these are starter Alcides Escobar, but that’s a story for a different day).

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The position is just bad.

I know a change won’t happen this year, but this is something that the MLB should certainly look into — especially if they want us to believe that the All-Star Game has any sort of meaning. Manny has not played an inning at shortstop since the minors, but should that really matter?

If a player gives a team a better chance to win the game, there will always be a spot for him in the lineup. That’s who Machado is. That’s what he would bring to the American League lineup. Especially when the guy you’re comparing him to is Alcides Escobar.