Pull up a chair and come sit down at our Lasorda’s Lair roundtable discussion. This new column will feature a different discussion topic each time which our writing staff will have the opportunity to address individually. We also would like for you to participate by answering the roundtable question in the comments below.
Question: Which Dodgers do you think deserve to be All-Stars in 2014?
Eric Becker, Staff Writer-In my opinion, the Dodgers who deserve All Star Consideration are:
1.) Yasiel Puig, Right Fielder. Puig started the year cold, but got hot and pushed his average up around .350 for a portion of the season. Even with a recent “regression to the mean,” Puig is still hitting around .320. He has been perhaps the most consistent bat in the lineup throughout the year, and his spectacular defense has to make for possible Gold Glove consideration at the end of this season. Even when his bat is in a slump, Puig is still finding ways to make spectacular plays that no one else makes, and as he has matured is doing better at doing the little things that help a team win ballgames.
2.) Dee Gordon, Second Baseman. Gordon leads the league in steals. By a lot. And his mere presence on the base paths is enough to distract pitchers and fielders into making mistakes that help him score runs and at times lead to the team having big innings. His defense is much improved over last year and balls off his glove are often balls that other second basemen wouldn’t even have a chance to make a play on. His batting average isn’t as high as it was at the start of the year, but there’s no denying that Dee Gordon is a spark plug in this offense and deserves consideration for a spot on the team.
3.) Josh Beckett, Starting Pitcher. Hands-down this guy has to be winning Comeback Player of the Year barring something catastrophic. This time last year we didn’t even know if he would take a major league mound again. Instead, he’s compiled a deceiving 5-4 record (it should be much better,) his first career no-hitter, a season ERA of 2.28 that leads the staff and an ERA of around 1.6 since he threw his no-no that indicates Beckett is just getting better. Beckett’s resurgence is even bigger considering that Chad Billingsley will not be returning this season, and it should warrant serious consideration for a spot on the All Star Team.
4.) Clayton Kershaw, Starting Pitcher. Here’s a guy who missed all of April and a fraction of May….and has managed to compile a 7-2 record with an ERA around two and a half and pitch what may have been the most dominating game in Major League history (his recent no-hitter.) Do I have to mention the two Cy Young Awards and the fact that he’s the best pitcher in baseball today?
5.) Zack Greinke, Starting Pitcher. “Psycho” needs some love, too. He doesn’t like the spotlight, but put him on the mound in front of 55,000 people on a hot summer day and this guy has stretches where he makes you question the above-stated fact that Clayton Kershaw is the best pitcher in baseball today. He’s a little more susceptible to the hiccup than Kershaw is, but an ERA around 2.6 and a 9-3 record as of today have been a huge part of what has kept the Dodgers on track.
Aaron David Gleason, Staff Writer- Dee Gordon, Yasiel Puig, Greinke, Kershaw. All deserve to be All Stars. Not Gonzo really. Ryu may even have a case. I’d like to nominate Lorenzo Bundy for the worst 3rd base coach of all time.
Lucas Talbot, Staff Writer- Looking at each individual players statistics this season, I think this year is going to be different as the Dodgers could potentially have more than two all stars. Possibly up to four players could represent the Dodgers in Minneapolis. Second baseman Dee Gordon, pitchers Zack Greinke and Josh Beckett, outfielder Yasiel Puig and first baseman Adrian Gonzalez are all candidates to represent. Gordon and Gonzalez have an chance to start in the game, according to the voting polls. J.P. Howell and Brandon League are another two Dodgers that has performed very well this season, but would have tough time making the team as middle relievers don’t get the recognition they deserve. I don’t think Clayton Kershaw makes it this year because he missed quite of bit of time sitting on the DL at the start of the season. I’m not sure how many starts Kershaw needs to qualify for eligibility for the all star game and if he has enough starts to qualify or not. Hopefully we will see multiple Dodgers representatives in Minneapolis. Go Dodgers!
Julian Lopez, Staff Writer- I think Dee Gordon, Yasiel Puig, and Clayton Kershaw deserve and will represent the Dodgers in the 2014 MLB All-Star Game. Dee Gordon has been a big surprise this season and has played well at 2nd. Yasiel Puig is doing Yasiel Puig things and Clayton Kershaw is still Clayton Kershaw.
Ryan Somers, Staff Writer- The Dodgers should be very well represented at the upcoming All-Star Game in Minnesota. Yasiel Puig is a lock to start in the National League outfield. “The Wild Horse” has been a savior for a lineup that has struggled to show any semblance of consistency early in the season. Puig’s defensive efforts have also been nothing short of spectacular. Although the Dodgers got off to a suspect start, Puig has to be in the conversation for MVP! He will also be one of the main attractions in the Twin Cities, which is what the All-Star Game is really all about.
I am also hoping to see Dee Gordon make the club. Dee would become the 2nd generation of Gordon’s to play at the All-Star Game after his Dad, Tom “Flash” Gordon, was named to the American League squad in 1998. Dee deserves to be there too. His average may have dipped in recent weeks, but he has played great at second base and currently leads the Majors in stolen bases. His contributions at the top of the lineup have kept the Dodgers in the mix. Chase Utley may end up with the starting nod, but Dee deserves to be one of the infield reserves.
The Dodgers will also be showcasing their depth in the starting rotation. Both Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke have performed as expected and should be there. I think you could also make an argument for Hyun-Jin Ryu considering he is currently T-3 in wins in the NL with 9. With an ERA just over 3.00, Ryu has often performed like an ace, despite his status as the third man in the rotation. Ultimately, I think this could hinder Ryu’s chances, as it is unlikely that three starters from the same team would be selected. It would be pretty cool to see the Dodgers send all three to the bump in the same All-Star Game! Let the Maddux, Glavine, and Smoltz comparisons begin!
Adrian Garcia, Staff Writer-There are a few Dodgers that are deserving of All Star consideration so i’ll go through them pretty quickly. In no particular order:
Scott Andes, Editor-I think Kershaw, Greinke, Beckett, and Puig all deserve to be all-stars. That’s it. All four of those players have been outstanding this season.
Stacie Wheeler, Editor- I think that Yasiel Puig, Dee Gordon, Zack Greinke, Clayton Kershaw, Josh Beckett, and Hyun-jin Ryu all deserve to be All-Stars. Puig is a no-brainer, and he should be starting right field for the National League in this year’s All-Star Game. Dee Gordon should man second base in the All-Star Game or at least be a reserve. Dee has redefined his career, and he has really developed into an amazing second baseman as well as a more patient and productive batter, and a possibly record-breaking base stealer. Clayton Kershaw should start the All-Star game for the National League. Kershaw has been brilliant, and he has fought back from disability to pitch a nearly perfect game this season. Zack Greinke and Hyun-jin Ryu have both had excellent seasons, and both deserve an All-Star nod in my opinion. Josh Beckett has really resurrected his career, and his season has been very memorable complete with a no-hitter. Of course the Dodgers won’t be able to have four pitchers in the All-Star Game, so if I had to choose two to go it would be Kershaw and Beckett. Don’t get me wrong, Greinke and Ryu deserve to be All-Stars, but my heart is leaning me toward Beckett. As for Adrian Gonzalez, I honestly don’t feel like he has played to potential. Even though he is a perennial favorite on the NL All-Star ballot, I’ll understand if Paul Goldschmidt wins the vote. I can’t wait for Puig to blast a homerun at Target Field next month!