Replacements for injured members of the All-Star team from both leagues were announced Friday. Ian Kinsler, the second baseman for the Detroit Tigers, will replace teammate Victor Martinez for the American League. Arizona Diamondbacks’ catcher Miguel Montero will replace injured St. Louis Cardinals’ catcher Yadier Molina for the National League.
Martinez has sat out the last six games with soreness in his right side and is unlikely to return until after the All-Star break. Kinsler will take his place and rightfully so. Originally Kinsler’s exclusion from the AL team was considered by many, a bit of a snub. The fan vote went to the Mariners’ Robinson Cano, obviously, and the player vote went to the Astros’ lone representative, Jose Altuve. Altuve is very deserving of a spot as well Cano. Altuve is batting .339 with a league leading 127 hits and 41 stolen bases.
While that does seem fair enough, Kinsler’s numbers made him worthy of an All-Star spot but with Cano and Altuve also vying legitimately for spots, Kinsler was the odd man out. Going into Friday’s game, Kinsler was hitting .305 with 11 home runs, 49 RBI and an .816 OPS. He also had the third highest WAR (3.8) of ANY American League position player. This will be Kinsler’s fourth All-Star appearance.
Meanwhile in the National League, Molina was voted into the starting catcher’s role by the fans while Milwaukee Brewer’s catcher Jonathan Lucroy was voted in by the players. Molina was injured on Wednesday, tearing a ligament in his thumb while sliding into third base. Lucroy will start in place of Molina and Arizona’s Miguel Montero will take over as a reserve.
Montero will join teammate Paul Goldschmidt, who won the fan vote to start at firstbase, at Tuesday’s mid-summer classic at Target Field in Minnesota. Going into Friday’s game Montero was hitting .265 with 11 homers, 52 RBI and a .765 OPS. He was also a replacement on the 2011 NL All-Star team.