June 28th, 2011
If you’re one of the millions of Americans who excercise your right not to vote, now might be a good time for a change. Voting can undo some major injustices, and if Detroit Tigers catcher (and former West Michigan Whitecap) Alex Avia does not start the 2011 MLB All-Star Game, that would be an injustice. At this time, Avila is trailing Yankees catcher Russell Martin by a fairly significant amount (2,226,797 to 1,730,511 as of 6/21). If you compare the two, however, you’d have to agree that Avila is simply the better choice. The Tigers back-stop is hitting .304, with 15 doubles, 10 homers, and 45 RBI. Compare this to Martin, who is batting a whopping .230, though his nine home runs and 30 RBI’s aren’t bad. Defensively, Martin has caught only 12 base-stealers, while 34 have made it safely to second while he was behind the plate, for a CS% of .261. Avila, however has a CS% of .400, nailing 20 out of 50 at second. I’m not saying that Martin is a bad player, or a bad person, or anything like that. The simple facts of baseball at this point, however, state that Avila is the better catcher at this time and should be the starter come July 12. I also understand how the system works for the All-Star game, and Martin being a Yankee has a huge advantage. Even Jeter is leading the race to start at short stop, and we all know that he’s battling injury, and did not play like his legendary self this season. The power is in our hands, we can vote on who actually deserves to be there, or let the All-Star game become more pointless that it has already become.
Other Whitecaps alumni who should be in the starting line-up on July 12 at Matt Joyce (TB) and Jair Jurrjens (ATL). Joyce is batting .313 with 10 home runs and 38 RBI for the Rays. Jurrjens has been one of the best pitchers in the National League all season with the Braves, sporting an ERA of 2.07 and a record of 10-3. He has struck out 55 batters to boot. Representing the Tigers in the Futures Game for Team USA is former ‘Cap Jacob Turner. Turner is 2-2, with an ERA of 3.01 with 72 strike-outs for the Erie SeaWolves of the Eastern League.
Illustration courtesy of Samara Pearlstein