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Using True Talent to Select the 2010 All-Stars: AL Pitchers

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In our final installment, we turn our attention to American League pitchers.  As with the NL, I'm picking 5 starters and 3 relievers.

Starting Pitchers

1st Inning: Cliff Lee, Seattle Mariners
3rd Inning: Zach Greinke, Kansas City Royals
4th Inning: Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers
5th Inning: Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners
6th Inning: Jon Lester, Boston Red Sox

Name Org FIP K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Cliff Lee SEA 3.23 7.1 1.7 0.6
Zack Greinke KCA 3.40 8.5 2.2 0.8
Justin Verlander DET 3.61 8.7 3.0 0.8
Felix Hernandez SEA 3.63 8.2 3.0 0.7
Jon Lester BOS 3.69 8.5 3.1 0.7
CC Sabathia NYA 3.70 7.7 2.4 0.9
Phil Hughes NYA 3.72 8.6 3.2 0.9
Colby Lewis TEX 3.79 7.9 2.4 1.0
Josh Beckett BOS 3.83 8.3 2.3 1.0
Javier Vazquez NYA 3.85 8.7 2.6 1.1

I could be wrong, but I don't see a lot of controversy here.  Maybe some would argue about the #1 slot, but Cliff Lee's been nothing short of amazing these past three years.  Greinke can't win a game, but that's hardly his fault.  

I think it's interesting that three teams own 7 of the top 10 starters.

And way to be Colby Lewis, making the top-10 list despite spending the past few years in Japan!  Carson Cistulli must be so proud.

Relief Pitchers

7th Inning: Jonathan Papelbon, Boston Red Sox
8th Inning: Mariano Rivera, New York Yankees
9th Inning: Matt Thornton, Chicago White Sox

Name Org FIP K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Matt Thornton CHA 3.08 10.0 2.9 0.7
Mariano Rivera NYA 3.23 8.8 2.1 0.8
Jonathan Papelbon BOS 3.39 9.3 2.8 0.7
Rafael Soriano TBA 3.50 9.3 3.1 0.8
Joakim Soria KCA 3.55 10.0 2.8 0.9

Wait, what?  Thornton, a guy not even the closer on his own team, ranks as the best reliever in the American League?  That's what the projections say, folks, don't shoot the messenger. While I do know that he throws in the high-90's, I don't know a lot about his situation...haven't been following the White Sox bullpen beyond knowing that Bobby Jenks doesn't have 100% job security.  He has gotten the other two non-Jenks saves this year, though.  Part of it could be that he's a lefty--maybe he gets used more often in platoon-advantage situations than the closers on this list, and so his numbers look better.

The rest of the list looks about right.  If I were actually managing this team, maybe I'd let Thornton throw in the 7th inning just to not upset Rivera and Papelbon. :)

And that's it folks: your true talent All Stars.  It was a fun exercise.  Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go vote.