Werth to All-Star game

Just got a Twitter update from the Phillies saying that Jayson Werth has been named to the National League All-Star team. I haven't received anything official yet from the team in the form of a press release, but I'm sure that will be on its way shortly.

Anyway, nobody will ever accuse Charlie Manuel of not being his players' biggest fan.

I have to admit, I snickered a little bit when somebody asked Manuel the other night if he would consider Werth for the team. I've always been a big proponent of Werth, and felt like he was a guy who needed to be on the field every day, both because of his bat and because of the way he holds down right field.

But when the All-Star teams were announced Sunday, Werth was hitting .262 with a .365 on base percentage, a .851 OPS, 16 home runs, 45 RBI, 11 stolen bases, and 54 runs scored.

Solid numbers, sure. But when compared to others around the league, not All-Star worthy.

But in the five games since the vote was announced, Werth has been on an absolute tear, going 6-for-17 with four home runs, nine RBI and five runs scored.

It is an interesting selection, and it doesn't exaclty jive with Major League Baseball's Final Vote, which featured five players who were supposedly the last five out of the game. If I'm Matt Kemp, who plays the outfield and was in the final vote, I'm not too happy right now.

But if you look at Werth's numbers, they are comparable - and in many cases better -- than the other choices Manuel had.

First, let's look at Werth versus Kemp, which each of their ranks among NL Outfielders in parantheses


OBP: .373 (9)
AVG: .268 (18)
HR:    20 (3)
RBI:   54 (T-5)
SB:    12 (T-8)
OPS: .894 (7)

Matt Kemp


OBP: .386 (6)
AVG: .319 (5)
HR:    10 (T-17)
RBI:   46 (12)
SB:    19 (4)
OPS: .875 (8)

So Werth has significantly better power numbers, as well as a higher OPS (on base percentage + slugging), while Kemp hits for a significantly higher average.

Everyone knows that Charlie Manuel loves power, so he would probably give the edge to Werth based on stats alone.

But speaking of power, here are the numbers for Arizona's Mark Reynolds, who was also in the final vote:

OBP: .347
AVG: .259
HR:    24
RBI:   62
SB:    15
OPS:  .892

So Reynolds power numbers are better, and his OPS is similar, but Werth can also play all three outfield positions, while the NL roster is already loaded with power-hitting first basemen.

I can see the argument for Werth again here, based on performance alone.

Which brings us to poor Pablo Sandoval, the player who could most make a case that an injustice has been done:

OBP: .380
AVG: .328
HR:    13
RBI:   50
SB:     3
OPS:  .940

He hits for much higher average, reaches base more often, has driven in a comparable amount of runs, and has a much higher OPS.

But he doesn't play for the Phillies. The moral of the story, I guess, is to the victors go the spoils.