Kansas City closer Jonathan Broxton. (Jamie Squire / Getty Images )
Writers from around Tribune Co. reveal which of the five choices -- Jonathan Broxton, Yu Darvish, Ernesto Frieri, Jason Hammel or Jake Peavy -- they think should get the fans' vote to make the American League All-Star roster.
Check back throughout the day for their responses and join the discussion by voting in the poll and leaving a comment of your own.
Ron Fritz, Baltimore Sun
As much as I like the work of the Rangers' Yu Darvish and the Orioles' Jason Hammel, both in their first seasons in the American League, let’s give this one to the home team. I'd put Royals closer Jonathan Broxton on the team with the game being played in Kansas City this year.
It's not like you’re adding a stiff. Broxton has 20 saves in 23 opportunities and a 2.05 ERA. Right now, designated hitter Billy Butler is the Royals' only representative. The Royals usually get just one representative because they are a small-market team and they haven't won in years. It just makes sense to give them a second All-Star. But this is MLB, so don't expect sense to have anything to do with it.
Wouldn’t it be great if Broxton came in to save the game with the fans in Kansas City going bonkers? It would be like Ricky "Wild Thing" Vaughn coming in to save the game in "Major League." Vote Broxton.
Phil Rogers, Chicago Tribune
Jake Peavy should be an All-Star, and I’d love to see Yu Darvish, who's been everything the Rangers hoped he would be, in the All-Star game. Ideally, Darvish and Peavy could have gone but Ron Washington engineered the choices in such a way to almost guarantee that he'd get two of his starters (11-game winner Matt Harrison and Darvish) onto the team.
In terms of the most telling stats, such as ERA and WHIP, Peavy has been better than either Darvish or Harrison. He's getting a bad deal in having to go head-to-head with Darvish, who will get tremendous support from online voters in Japan.
If not for a recent lack of run support (two runs in his last four starts) and two blown saves, Peavy would have been named to the team Sunday. He should have been, anyway.
[Updated at 1:22 p.m.:
Coley Harvey, Orlando Sentinel
When voting for the final spot on both the American and National League rosters, fans must take two very important factors into account.
First, the choice should be based upon what each of the final five players have done in the first half of the season to help their own teams push toward a second-half pennant chase. After all, the All-Star Game winning league has homefield advantage in the World Series, so fans should pick a player who could have something to play for in October.
Second, consider the unique traits that make baseball’s midsummer classic special: the mixing of tradition and innovation, the combination of young, hope-filled up-and-comers and the aging stars nearing the twilights of their careers.
Taking both factors into account, young Japanese import and Texas Rangers phenomenon Yu Darvish deserves the AL nod. The rookie has more wins and strikeouts than any of his final five competitors, and his team has a commanding division lead.]
[Updated at 2:05 p.m.:
Lance Pugmire, Los Angeles Times
For the sake of bringing more attention to the game, I'd select Texas starting pitcher Yu Darvish with my "Final Vote."
Darvish has a 10-5 record with a 3.59 earned-run average in what's effectively his rookie MLB season after starring in the Japanese League. The right-hander has helped the Rangers maintain a first-half chokehold on first place in the American League West, and appears to be growing more comfortable, with 10 or more strikeouts in three of his four most recent starts.
So there's intrigue in how that would equate to him facing a possible spot in the National League batting order of Joey Votto, Carlos Beltran and Carlos Gonzalez.
Jonathan Broxton struggled with his previous All-Star chance. Frieri hasn't been with the Angels all season. Peavy has been to two All-Star games. And Hammel just doesn't bring the same buzz to the game.